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Full text of "Life of William Madison McDonald, Ph.D"

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WILLIAM MADISON McDONALD 



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LIFE OF 

WILLIAM MADISON 

Mcdonald, PhD. 

BY 

WILLIAM OLIVER BUNDY, A.B. 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION 
BY 

W. H. BURNETT, A.B. 

of Terrell, Texas 



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1925: 

THE BUNKER PRINTING & BOOK CO., Inc. 
Fort Worth, Texas 



COPYRIGHT 1925 

BY 

W. O. BUNDY 

(All rights reserved.) 



TO 
WILLIAM MADISON MCDONALD, JR., 
DEPARTED SON OF MR. AND MRS. MCDONALD. 

AND TO THE LATE 

REV. A. G. BUNDY. FATHER OF THE AUTHOR. 

THIS WORK IS, 

IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE. 

DEDICATED. 



INTRODUCTION 

TO THE BIOGRAPHY OF 

WILLIAM MADISON McDONALD 



"Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul." 

* * * 

"In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I neither winced nor cried aloud; 
Beneath the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, yet unbowed" 

* * * 

"I care not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishment the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captain of my soul" 

* * * 

An accurate portrayal of an individual's life from the cradle 
to the grave is a human impossibility j but the essential features 
may be so clearly set forth that an unbiased imagination can 
so connect the salient points that a faithful biography will issue 
forth that will challenge the admiration of all men who are 
not controlled by the cancerous emotions of envy, jealousy 
and hate. 

This is an age wherein "brute facts" demand a hearing, 
however much narrow interests may rave to the contrary. 
Neither flattery nor detraction can aid us in our lifelong pursuit 
of Truth! Justice, honor and praise are the crown jewels of 
all men who have achieved. That man is greatest who achieves 
most with least means against greatest odds. 

The force of individual personality is most fittingly revealed 



x INTRODUCTION 

in him who sues fate and enjoins destiny for his own title-deed 
to manhood rights, the God-given heritage of all His heirs. 

These emoluments come only to those who struggle, who 
fight, who win! And when, humanly speaking, he has won, 
who will be too jealous, too mean, to make full and free 
acknowledgment of the victory? 

Destructive criticism is easy: 

" The little fleas that do us bite 
Have other fleas to .bite y em; 
And these in turn have little ones; 
So on ad infinitum" 

But constructive criticism should be the end and aim of all 
men who believe in the democracy of "life, liberty and pursuit 
of happiness." 

The subject of this sketch was born at and in a time when 
black men were regarded as an afterthought of God, mere chips 
in God's workshop. 

The theories of many of the most prominent philosophers, 
scientists and religionists were adamantine walls against a 
black man's hope of progress. His most evanescent dreams of 
power, influence, wealth, manhood and worth-whileness were 
looked upon as unmistakable evidences of a distorted imagin- 
ation. 

The rise of Benjamin Franklin, Lincoln and Garfield was 
explained upon one of tradition's most damaging fallacies, 
viz.: Nordic superiority 5 a fallacy which some Nordics them- 
selves are daily combatting. 

"The mills of the gods grind slowly , 
Yet they grind exceedingly small; 
Though with -patience he stands waiting, 
With exactness grinds he all" 

The "hewer-of-wood-and-drawer-of -water" theory com- 
pletely breaks down in the life story of this biography. Thus, 
this one witness completely overthrows the testimony of the 
biased records of two thousand years. And when the true story 
of achievement has been told of others of his race, the "rejected 



INTRODUCTION xi 

stone" will receive, will necessitate, a newer, fuller, a different 
interpretation! If a new star should be created today, it would 
alter the behavior of the universe. Likewise, when a new 
human star has evolved out of the chaos of despised humanity, 
all civilization must be affected. The rise from a lowly 
station to a splendid career of usefulness is perhaps the most 
significant thing in any nation's history. It is surely the most 
cogent argument possible to justify a black man's contention 
for fair play and simple justice. "I ask for no more than my 
sabre will cut" has been the rallying cry of William Madison 
McDonald for a quarter of a century (the length of my 
intimate, personal acquaintance). Who can be a real, red- 
blooded Negro and ask for less? Who can be a real red- 
blooded American and refuse the request? 

The great English statesman, Edmund Burke, once said, 
"Nobody can be argued into slavery." The man who refuses 
to bend forever the suppliant knee to the tyranny of untoward 
circumstances is the Hannibal, the Napoleon crossing the Alps; 
is the Lincoln uniting divided America; is the Fred Douglass, 
pleading for his race. Yes, another is the irrepressible Mc- 
Donald, achieving where such achievement was once thought 
impossible! 

Gladstone was for many years the idol, the heart and con- 
science of England; Washington, Hamilton and Jefferson 
were the head, heart and vision of America; Garibaldi was the 
soul of trampled but rising Italy; Napoleon was the god of 
France, the enigma, the terror of all Europe. But these were 
men of the dominant race; supported by thousands whose train- 
ing, instinctive loyalty and confidence almost guaranteed 
success. 

But the subject of my sketch is a black man, meagerly sup- 
ported by simple children of nature, trained in racial detrac- 
tions, destructive jealousy and cruel envy; trained to believe 
in leveling down instead of building up ! What is the algebraic 
sum of this discouraging complex? The attainment of distinc- 
tion in vision, intelligence, wealth, power and influence! 
Unquestionably one of the foremost men of his race! One to 
whom future Negro historians may point as an incontrovertible 



xii INTRODUCTION 

evidence that color, black, is not necessarily a badge of in- 
feriority. 

"The mind is the measure of the man." The attainment 
of distinction by Negro doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, 
business men, artisans, agriculturists and what-not — all is 
abundant evidence that Ethiopia is surely stretching forth her 
hand, and, by emulating the phenomenal example of the sub- 
ject of this sketch, will surely be filled. 

"My face is black, my heart is strong. 
My fast's a bloody story; 
Oppression's reign won't be age long, 
Mine eyes have glimpsed our glory." 

"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," thus saith the 
Lord. Then every Negro youth who reads this life story of 
a black man will gain new aspiration and inspiration to cry 
unto himself: "Build thee more stately mansions, Oh, my 
soul." 

A German philosopher once said: "The world remembers 
him long who travels far in many directions - y remembers 
him longer who travels farther in fewer directions - y but 
remembers him longest who travels farthest in a single direc- 
tion." 

William Madison McDonald has distinguished himself in 
politics, fraternalism and business; but, to my feeble judgment, 
distinction in this trinity of endeavors is not his crowning dis- 
tinction, remarkable though they be. That crowning distinc- 
tion seems to me to be the establishment of a record that cannot 
be gainsaid, a record that completely refutes the degrading 
hypothesis, the all too prevalent doctrine that a Negro is an 
inferior product by the decree of High Heaven and therefore 
does not deserve the same considerations of justice, respect 
and honor as other men. 

It is to be hoped, as we look up from the valley of vision, 
that we may see justice decreeing freer and fuller recognition 
for our group because of the achievements of our leading men 
and women in all the efforts of good citizenship. A citizenship 
that measures men by their conduct and contributions to civil- 
ization* necessary for all! 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

The world is not ruled by pure reason but by accepted ideas 
an consequent sentiments. Often these ideas are false. Often 
they are the untried, unverified theories derived from ill- 
digested facts j often they are the insane ravings of political 
and religious maniacs 5 often they are the heirlooms of by-gone 
ages, utterly out of harmony with modern environments. 

The Negro has been and is a victim of much and many of 
these anachronisms, but the spirit of this biography gives out 
a most cheering hope in his hard-earned, worth-while achieve- 
ment. Marcus Aurelius once said, "As emperor, I am a 
Roman j but, as a man, my city is the world." William Mad- 
ison Mcdonald says, "As a race unit, I am a Negro j but, as 
an individual, I am a worthy citizen and a man!" 

W. H. Burnett. 



CONTENTS xv 



CONTENTS 

Chapter. Page. 

I. His Parents and Birth. 1866. - - - 1 

II. Early Training. 1872. ------ 13 

III. A Fraternal Member. Joins S. S. C. 1882. 17 

IV. A Public School Teacher. 1884. - - - 21 

V. Member Free and Accepted Masons. 

1886. ---- 37 

VI. An Odd Fellow. 1886. ------ 65 

VII. General Superintendent and 

President. 1887. ------- 81 

VIII. Home Life. Birth and Death of 

William Madison McDonald, Jr. - - 91 

IX. Political Career. 1890. ----- 103 
X. Burnett-McDonald Metaphysical 

Argument. 1904. ------ 151 

XI. A Prohibitionist. 1910. - - - - - 193 

XII. State-Wide Prohibitionist. 1911. - - 199 

XIII. As a Banker. 1912. ------- 209 

XIV. Chief Justice Sanhedrin Court. 1912. - 215 
XV. Welcome to Bishops of A. M. E. Church. 235 

XVI. Chairman of the Board of Instruction. 249 

XVII. A Real Texan. Defends the Poor. - - 257 

XVIII. Our Foremost Orator. ------ 263 

XIX. A Leader of the Race. ------283 

XX. An Author. --- -301 

XXI. Other Testimonials. ------ 323 

XXII. Conclusion. --------- 329 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

William M. McDonald Frontispiece 

Home of William M. McDonald 1 

Dr. N. A. Prince 16 

Wm. Coleman 3 2 

Bishop McKinney 48 

Prof. H. G. Goree 64 

Dave Abner 80 

Mattie Helen McDonald 96 

William McDonald, Jr.. 100 

Monument of William McDonald, Jr. . 108 

E. H. R. Green 1 12 

R. B. Goosby — 1 44 

J. T. M axey 1 60 

W. D. Cain 176 

S. S. Reid 193 

Rev. W. L. Dickson , 1 94 

Mrs. S. P. Carrington..... 208 

B. F. White 2 5 6 

A. S. Wells 272 

Dr. Jesse M . Mosely 2 8 8 

Prof. W. O. Bundy 304 




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WILLIAM MADISON McDONALD 

CHAPTER I 

His Parents and Birth. 1 866 

The history of the Negro race in North America may 
be divided into two eras — the era of slavery, and the era 
of freedom. The era of slavery begins with the selling 
of twenty slaves to planters at Jamestown, Virginia, in 
1619 and ends when the Negroes were set free by Fed- 
eral Constitutional enactment in 1865. Some of the 
most eminent colored men of America were born during 
the era of slavery, and because of their native ability 
and earnest desire to contribute their part to the advance- 
ment of civilization did much for the uplift of mankind. 

Since 1865, in the era of freedom, our race has pro- 
duced many men and women whose worthy deeds and 
attainments should be recorded in glaring lines upon the 
pages of our country's history. The history of a nation, 
after all, is but a brief record of the achievements of a 
few individuals that go to help make up the members 
of that nation. There is no valid reason under the sun 
why the names of a few members of my race should not 
stand out prominently upon the pages of their country's 
history. I am a firm believer in justice. Mark my 
words — the time will come, and in the lifetime of many 
of the present inhabitants of this country, when the 
noble deeds of men and women, regardless of their racial 
identity, will be heralded from one end of the country 



2 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to the other. All actions and deeds that contribute to 
human advancement and uplift must in the end be pro- 
claimed to a fair and impartial world and the actors will 
be given their just place in history. 

There are many reasons why the noble deeds and 
accomplishments of this great man should be recorded 
upon the pages of history. First, he has accomplished 
much under adverse circumstances and conditions. He 
has proven what the Negro can do even in the face of 
almost insurmountable obstacles. His life struggle 
should be known by every boy and girl in America, for 
they, too, will take courage and fight with more deter- 
mination the battles of life. 

Many books, from the beginning of time, have been 
written concerning the actions of men and women. Some 
for mercenary purposes, some to please the living, some 
to display the genius of the author, and many other 
reasons may be given for the production of books. But 
we firmly believe if the deeds and actions of our subject 
are properly recorded, not only the present generation, 
but those yet to come, will be greatly benefited because 
of his contribution to the advancement of mankind. 

But few men go outside of their own immediate 
race to write biographies. Often in a nation are several 
races, but it seems a rather uncommon undertaking for 
the historian of one race to write the biography of an 
individual of another race. The time has come, after 
sixty years of freedom, with schools in every valley and 
upon every hilltop, with our educated men and women 
living in all sections of this broad land, when we should 
hold up the noble deeds of members of our own group 
to both white and colored people. 



HIS PARENTS AND BIRTH 3 

I shall not make any apology for writing this biog- 
raphy. As far as I am able, facts and only facts shall be 
truthfully presented to you, and you alone shall be the 
judge as to the place of this volume in your library. The 
things that have made my hero can make you. What he 
has done for his country, you can do. I am sure his con- 
tributions to our literature, if read and properly under- 
stood, will assist you in solving the many perplexing 
problems of life. If I can but persuade one boy or one 
girl to so conduct himself or herself that he or she will 
measure fully up to the accomplishments of William 
Madison McDonald, I will feel that I have done my 
part. 

Some biographers have traced the ancestors of their 
subjects as far back as Adam, the first man, according to 
the lawgiver Moses. Some have gone as far back as 
Menes, the founder of the Egyptian Empire, about the 
year 5700 before Christ. Some have gone as far back 
as the great teacher, Confucius, who lived and taught 
his Chinese brethren a form of religion about 550 
before Christ. Some have traced the ancestry of their 
subjects back to the great reformer, Prince Gautama, 
commonly known as the Buddha, the man, who vir- 
tually founded a new religion for India about 522 B. C. 
Some have traced the ancestry of their subjects back to 
King Cyrus, the Great, ruler of the Persians — some to 
Pericles, who for twenty years, about 449 B. C, was at 
the head of Athenian affairs; some to Alexander, who 
before dying at the early age of thirty-three, had won 
for himself the fame of the world's greatest general, and 
who extended his empire over much of Europe, Asia and 
Africa. Some to Csesar, the great Roman general and 



4 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

4 

ruler, whom Shakespeare styled "The foremost man of 
all the world." Some to Charlemagne, the king of the 
Franks and Lombards, the great warrior, he who be- 
lieved in christianizing by force. Many have traced the 
ancestry of those about whom they were writing to the 
kings and queens of Europe — thinking because of this 
fact that their works would be widely read. Many of 
our American biographers have linked their subjects 
with the early patriots of this country and thus have 
given a background of which any human would be justly 
proud. 

It is indeed too bad that conditions from the landing 
of Negroes in this country in 1619 to their freedom in 
1865 were such that it is impossible to accurately trace 
their ancestry. Thousands of colored people did not 
even know their mothers or fathers. Under slavery 
conditions often mothers and fathers were sold before 
their children knew them. Only a few of the colored 
people were married, and even then the master or mis- 
tress could sell and many of them did sell their slaves. 
Remember, dear reader, when a slave was sold, as a rule 
he or she was taken miles away from the former home 
and very seldom ever saw his or her loved ones again. 
As a rule the slaves took the names of their masters. 
They had no names except those of the white people who 
owned them. Thus if your first name was "John" and 
you belonged to Mr. Jones, you were called John Jones. 
Should you be sold to Mr. Smith, who might live in the 
same county or the next state, your name would be John 
Smith. I have been reliably informed by a colored man, 
who died a few years ago at the ripe age of ninety-six, 
tha't his last name was changed at least six times, because 



HIS PARENTS AND BIRTH 5 

of the fact that he was sold six times. Also that he 
married on four of the plantations of his different mas- 
ters and had four different groups of children with four 
different surnames. In other words his boy, whose 
name was John Jones on plantation No. 1 had a brother 
by the name of William Banks on plantation No. 2, a 
brother by the name of Walter Scott on Plantation No. 
3, and a brother by the name of Arthur Walker on plan- 
tation No. 4. The same man was father of all the boys, 
who should have had the same surname, but under the 
conditions the father had to change his name each time 
he was sold, and those boys and others grew to manhood 
and John Jones never knew his brother William Banks 
or Walter Scott or Arthur Walker. It is true they had 
different mothers, but the same man was father of all 
the boys, and then some more in addition, some girls, for 
he remembered that there were sixteen children who 
should have called him father and they would have 
been proud to have been able to use the same surname. 
Those children, if they are living to this late day, do not 
know that they are brothers and sisters. Still, the same 
blood on father's side flows through their veins. We 
would love to trace our lineage, but in most cases it is 
impossible. Genealogical trees did not flourish among 
slaves. Therefore we are scarcely able to go back of 
1860 in tracing our progenitors. 

William Madison McDonald was born in a log hut, 
June 22, 1866, at College Mound, about sixteen miles 
east of Kaufman, Kaufman County, Texas. The reader 
must not expect me to say much of his family. My 
reasons are stated above. It would be a pleasure to trace 



6 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

his ancestry back and back to the very beginning of man, 
but there is a barrier, as stated above. 

Of McDonald's grandfather and grandmother little 
is known. The grandfather and grandmother on the 
side of his father were slaves in Cumberland County, 
Tennessee. On the side of his mother, his grandfather 
was a free Choctaw Indian, while the grandmother was 
a Negro slave, in Alabama. 

Slavery did not recognize fathers and families. If 
the mother was a slave, all of her children were slaves. 
The condition of the mother determined the status of 
the children. The father might be a freeman and the 
children slaves. The father might be a white man, 
boasting in the purity of his Anglo-Saxon blood, still his 
children, if their mother was a slave, were ranked with 
other slaves. The white father could sell his own chil- 
dren if he could prove that a single drop of Negro blood 
flowed through their veins. 

Flora Scott, the mother of William M. McDonald, 
was born a slave at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her father 
was a free Choctaw Indian. Little is known of her 
father. He was free, and an Indian. She strongly 
resembled her Indian father. She was the exact color 
of the Choctaw tribe. She was not a very large woman, 
but possessed large black eyes and a very full head of 
black flowing hair. She and her mother were the prop- 
erty of the Martins of Alabama. 

George McDonald, the father of William Madison 
McDonald, was born a slave in Cumberland County, 
Tennessee. He was bought by the noted slave trader, 
Bedford Forest, and sold to the Martins of Alabama. 
My dear reader, you will bear in mind that those were 



HIS PARENTS AND BIRTH 7 

the days of slavery and there were men who made their 
living by buying and selling Negroes. Forest, the buyer 
and seller of human beings, bought George McDonald 
in Tennessee and took him to Alabama and there sold 
him. The Martins, who already owned Flora Scott, 
bought George McDonald. 

The father of William McDonald was a very val- 
uable piece of property, for he was the plantation black- 
smith. A man of many good qualities, devoted to those 
whom he knew. He was the property of the Martins 
but a short while before he met and fell in love with 
Miss Flora Scott. She was tall, finely proportioned, of 
red, glossy complexion, with regular features, very 
attractive black hair and remarkably sedate and dig- 
nified. After an acquaintance of a few years George 
McDonald and Miss Scott were united as man and wife 
according to the marriage ceremonies of the times among 
slaves. 

A few years after their marriage Mr. George Mc- 
Donald and his wife refugeed from Alabama to Louisi- 
ana and then to Texas. They settled at College Mound 
after many hardships. They were the parents of five 
children, Ruth, Amelia, William Madison, Emma and 
Earline. Ruth and Amelia were born in Alabama, 
William, Emma and Earline in Texas. The first and 
second names of McDonald were given him by the 
young mistress and old master of his mother. 

The young mistress and old master of McDonald's 
mother christened the new born baby boy William Madi- 
son McDonald, a name that has been known for the past 
thirty years by men and women in all walks of life. The 
young mistress at the time was reading the works of the 



3 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

great English dramatist, William Shakespeare, and she 
was so impressed with the fine appearance of the infant 
baby boy that she insisted his first name be William. 
The old master demanded that he give the baby the 
second name, which was Madison, because of the fact 
that the old slave owner in some way was related to 
James Madison, the fourth President of the United 
States. 

Many of the world's most renowned men have given 
great praise to their mothers for the thorough training 
received in early days. McDonald has told the world 
on more than one occasion that if he is anything, if he 
has accomplished anything for his fellow man, the credit 
is largely due his faithful mother. She lived most of 
her short life as a slave and only enjoyed freedom seven 
years. But she had great hopes for her only boy and 
advised him as best she could. He has never forgot her 
tender care and in after years, thinking of his devoted 
mother, manfully wrote the following lines: 

The night was cold and dreary, 

No star lit up the sky, 
When wise old Doctor Snow was called 

To my mother's sick bedside. 

He quickly took his medicine 

And sped away to see 
If, with his customary skill, 

Assistance he could be. 

And when he reached his patient 

He found her in the bed, 
And they told him she was bilious 

With an awful aching head. 



HIS PARENTS AND BIRTH 9 

So the doctor looked her over, 

Felt her pulse and saw her tongue. 

He thumped upon her chest 
And he listened to her lungs. 

Having finished all his questions 

The doctor now looked sad — 
Should he make the dire confession 

That relief could not be had. 

William had the care and training of his mother for 
only rive short years. But in that brief period she started 
her only boy on the right road. He was blessed by having 
parents who were very religious. They believed in the 
proper training of their children. Even in the days of 
slavery when they were serving their master and mistress 
they, with other slaves, stole time to read the Bible and 
to serve the Lord. Often in the late hours of the night 
they united together in prayer and prayed for the day 
when the shackles of slavery would be loosed, and not 
only they, but all colored people, might be free. The 
mother served her master well. The father gave his 
best service to those who held him in bondage. The time 
had come when all colored people in America must 
assume the full status as citizens of the United States. 
It was in the year 1866, the year in which our hero 
first saw the light of day. Abraham Lincoln had given 
the world his famous Emancipation Proclamation. 
Three and one-half millions of Negro slaves were 
making their beginning as citizens of a country that had 
held them in subjugation for two hundred and fifty 
years. Among this vast number of newly made citizens 
were the mother and father of William McDonald. His 
parents knew the horrors of slavery — for they had 



10 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

served. Two of their five children were born before the 
freedom of the race. It seemed as if fate had much to 
do with the time William was born, for he came to this 
world in 1866, the very first year colored people began 
their freedom. He was not born a slave himself, but 
his parents served many years under the diabolical sys- 
tem. It was the kindness of fate that he should make 
his advent the very first year of the new era. 

George McDonald was a devoted father and faithful 
husband. He delighted in providing for his wife and 
children. He worked hard and planned the best things 
for them. Circumstances forced him to be absent from 
home a good deal of the time, but he was earning money 
for the support of his loved ones. 

Back in ? 66 around Kaufman were many wild tur- 
keys. The streams were filled with black bass. Much 
eame was found in that section. There was a custom 
among the country folks to brand their hogs and cattle 
and turn them into the fertile valleys to secure food, 
which was in great abundance. In the late fall, and 
especially at Christmas times, these hogs were taken 
from the v/oods and killed. George McDonald, as a 
prosperous little farmer, was able to provide for his 
family. He and his lovable wife took pleasure in the 
outlook for their son and daughters. 

The father having a strong desire to follow his old 
trade, that of blacksmith, decided to leave the farm. He 
abandoned the log cabin, the birthplace of his boy, and 
moved to Kaufman, the county seat. At this time Wil- 
liam was two years old. In the small town of Kaufman, 
George McDonald found employment in his old-time 
trade as blacksmith. It was not long, however, before 



HIS PARENTS AND BIRTH 1 1 

the devoted mother and faithful wife died. William 
was five years old when his mother passed to the great 
beyond. The father took all of his children to a friend 
in the country and left them in his care. The senior 
McDonald looked for work that he might care for his 
children. They experienced many hardships while 
under the care of this country friend. At this time 
Amelia was the oldest living child, Ruth having died 
back in Alabama. Amelia felt that she was the pro- 
tector of the other children. Very often she was whipped 
when she took up for her only brother and Emma and 
Earline. 

It was not long, however, before George found w r ork 
as a teamster, transporting cattle to the market at Shreve- 
port, La. Twice each year he would go home to see his 
children. He took them clothing, candies, and, as the 
children would say, "heaps of goodies." He was not 
at all satisfied with the treatment of his children, but it 
was the best he could do under the circumstance 

On Christmas night, 1871, Mr. George McDonald 
married his second wife, a very accomplished woman. 
A few days after the wedding, the first of January, 
1872, William and two sisters, Amelia and Emma, were 
taken back to Kaufman, the youngest sister, Earline, 
having died in the country some time before. 



CHAPTER II 

Early Training. 1872 

In the fall of 1 872, at the age of seven, little Buddy 
(William McDonald), as he was called by his sisters, 
entered a school taught by a white man by the name 
of Tawdworth. The school term was only three months. 
This was a rather short time for a live, healthy, ener- 
getic boy to be in school out of each twelve months. In 
many sections of the state children attended school only 
one and two months during the year. 

After the school term little William worked on a 
cattle ranch. So skillful was he in handling cattle on 
his horse that he was nicknamed "Bigity Mat." After 
working several years for the richest cattle king in 
Kaufman County, and at the age of twelve, he was 
employed by Captain Z. T. Adams at a salary of $15.00 
per month to look after his cattle. So well did Mr. 
Adams like the lad's work that it was not long before the 
salary of young McDonald was raised to $25.00 per 
month. That was a very good stipend for a colored boy 
just entering his teens back in those days. It clearly 
shows that he had in him, even in his boyhood days, those 
winning qualities that all true leaders must have. 

Captain Adams was not only a large cattle dealer, 
but was the senior member of one of the largest law 
firms in the state. He was a great and good man, for 
he could see greatness in a Negro boy of tender years. 
He could look beyond his own race and see genius and 

13 



14 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

ability in members of other races. He was so impressed 
with young McDonald that the colored lad was made 
an office boy and very often lectured to, with the admoni- 
tion that he make a man of himself. To Captain Adams 
the subject of this book gives much praise and credit for 
starting him on the right road in life. 

William completed the grade school and then entered 
the high school, which at that time was giving a full 
three-year course of nine months each year. While at- 
tending school he not only worked for Captain Adams, 
but studied law under him. During his course in the 
high school at Kaufman, and even upon graduation, he 
was proclaimed by many the most brilliant pupil in the 
school. 

Both in the grades and in the high school William was 
a very bright pupil. He was the leader of his class and 
took a very active part in all school entertainments. He 
was always called to recite when school authorities came 
around. He was very fond of reading, arithmetic, gram" 
mar and history and the good teacher relied upon him to 
hold up the reputation of the school. 

Professor Lewis W. Foster was principal of the high 
school. He was a man of considerable education, with 
long experience as a pedagogue. He did not fail to 
impress his pupils, not a few of whom became noted 
teachers and leaders throughout Texas. 

As most good teachers, Professor Foster was very 
fond of his school. He wanted his pupils to make an 
excellent showing, especially when visitors came around. 
To show what had been accomplished in mathematics, 
history, Latin, English and the sciences, he invariably 
called on William McDonald to show his knowledge 



EARLY TRAINING 15 

of the above subjects. So well did the pupil take care 
of the situation that it was the common opinion that the 
Kaufman high school was one of the best in the state. 
At the same time, William, by his ready and correct 
replies to all questions, won for himself the honor of 
being called the brightest high school boy, white or 
black, in that section of the state. 

He was not only brilliant in his studies, but was the 
leader in all public exercises, for on many occasions the 
school placed its reputation in him. As a student he was 
considered the best. As a debator he had no equal in the 
entire county. In short the school revolved around him. 

At the age of eighteen years, in May, 1884, he re- 
ceived his high school diploma. Many were present to 
hear young McDonald deliver the valedictory for his 
class. He made such a brilliant record in the high school 
that the County Superintendent of Public Schools was 
so impressed with the high standing of the boy that he 
at once gave him a position as principal of one of the 
largest schools in the county. 

Young McDonald had great ambition. He wanted 
to get information. He had the desire at all times to 
do his best in school work. He loved to study. He 
wanted to investigate. He was not lazy. He applied 
himself and was the pride of the old professor. 




Dr. A. N. Prince 
Past Grand Chancellor Knights of Pythias of Texas 



CHAPTER III 

As a Fraternity Member — Joins the Seven Stars 
of Consolidation. 1882 

There is much good in most secret fraternities. 
Twenty or more are operated by colored people today in 
the state of Texas. Two-thirds of this number origi- 
nated in the Lone Star State. Many of them are doing 
all they promised to do for the dead and living. A few 
have run their race and now sleep in the dark tomb of 
oblivion. A few stand out as beacons, marking in a 
large degree the financial and moral integrity of those 
who have shaped the destiny of the orders. Monuments 
in the forms of modern and attractive buildings remind 
one in every hamlet and city of this commonwealth of 
some of the accomplishments of a few of these benevo- 
lent societies. Men, women and children come forth as 
living examples to testify in glowing terms that a few 
of these fraternities have assisted them when other 
human agencies failed. 

Fraternities date back to the early morning of the 
dawn of civilization. Along the beaten path of man 
through the ages stand towering monuments, erected by 
benevolent societies. Their benign influences have been 
felt in church and state. They have buried the dead, 
assisted the living, and accomplished far more than their 
originators dared to dream. In proportion to members, 
during the last fifty years, no group in America can boast 
of a larger percentage of fraternal members than my 
race. 

17 



18 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Negro men and women have mastered the secrets of 
some of the most ancient orders. Some they have orig- 
inated and pushed forward to the highest rank in the line 
of fraternalism. It is true, some have fallen by the 
way, only to have others rise upon the ruins left behind. 

One of the wonders of the age is the marvelous ad- 
vancement made by the colored people of this country in 
the last half century. Ignorance has been reduced far 
beyond the fondest expectations of those who have 
assisted in the education of the race. Property has been 
acquired at such a rate until we can count our holding in 
billions instead of thousands. From the log huts many 
of my people have moved into modern homes with 
all conveniences. Churches, costing from twenty-five 
thousand to one hundred thousand dollars are seen in 
many of our larger cities. Business in all forms is being 
carried on by members of my race. Intelligent men and 
women are found in all vocations and avocations of life. 
We rejoice in our accomplishments. 

You may be a little surprised when I tell you that 
our fraternities have more ready cash than any of 
our other organizations. In other words, the combined 
wealth of the secret orders among colored people in 
Texas is over five million dollars. As far as I have been 
able to learn there is not a single organization along any 
other line with that amount of capital behind it. All 
the colored churches of Texas did not cost five million. 
The stock in all the colored stores of the state would not 
bring that amount. Indeed, the cash alone of our fra- 
ternities indicates that the colored folks are making 
ample provisions to die. 

Young McDonald did not forget the religious side of 



AS A FRATERNAL MEMBER 19 

life and was often a visitor at the Second Baptist Church, 
Fort Worth, Texas. His sister was a devout member of 
this church. At this church he met the pastor, Rev. 
T. W. Wilburn, a preacher of much learning and a great 
leader of his people. Rev. Wilburn was also the Su- 
preme Grand Chaplain of an order known as "The Seven 
Stars of Consolidation." He was a broad-minded cler- 
gyman, a student of men, and saw at a glance the ability 
of young McDonald. 

At this time the order referred to above was greatly 
in need of intelligent men, men who could properly 
present the beauties of the fraternity and impress both 
men and women to join. Rev. Wilburn lost no time in 
persuading McDonald to reinstate. I say reinstate, for 
prior to this, 1882, he joined the order, but had allowed 
himself to become unfinancial. 

At the time Mr. McDonald reinstated "The Seven 
Stars of Consolidation" was the most rapidly growing 
order in Texas. It was a splendid opportunity for an 
intelligent young man. The local lodge needed honest 
and up-to-date men who could properly direct affairs. 
Above all, it needed a clever bookkeeper and a man who 
could impress others to join. McDonald at once came 
to the front. He was elected along with others as a dele- 
gate to the Supreme Lodge which convened at Shreve- 
port, La., in 1885. There he met the leaders and 
delegates of the order from other states of the South- 
west. The order embraced most of the states in the 
Southwest. It was organized at Texarkana, Texas, 
May 20, 1881, by Rev. N. D. Skirlock. The princi- 
ples of the order were "Wisdom, Love and Truth," 



20 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

equally as fundamental as are the principles of the 
ancient orders of Masons and Odd Fellows. 

McDonald was not long in coming to the front in 
this order, for at his first meeting of the national body 
he was elected grand lecturer for the state of Texas 
and many were brought into the order through his in- 
fluence. In 1889 he was elected to the highest office in 
the gift of the order — "the Supreme Grand Chief of 
the Seven Stars of Consolidation of America." 

As Supreme Grand Head of the S. S. C, at the age 
of twenty-three, young Chief McDonald made a won- 
derful record for his order, which at that time was the 
leading fraternal society of the state. He revised the 
constitution of the order, wrote the degree book and was 
rgarded as the best informed person in the Southwest 
upon lodge matters. Under his wise leadership the 
S. S. C, in Texas, reached its highest point of efficiency. 



CHAPTER IV 

As a Public School Teacher. 1884 

William Madison McDonald received his high school 
diploma from the Kaufman high school in 1884. The 
County Superintendent was present at the commence- 
ment. He had investigated the high school record of 
McDonald and was so impressed with the high standing 
of the pupil in all of his subjects that without even 
asking about a teacher's certificate he gave him a prin- 
cipalship over one of the largest schools in the county. 
Thus in the fall of 1884, at the age of eighteen, Mc- 
Donald began his work as principal of the Flat Rock 
public school. 

It is true that teachers — good teachers — were not so 
plentiful then as now. Especially were teachers hard 
to find at that age. Many school boards will not employ 
a male teacher under twenty-one. 

Principal McDonald did not allow many weeks to 
pass before he took the teachers 5 examination to arm 
himself with the required teacher's certificate. Again, 
but this time to state authorities, he demonstrated the 
supreme confidence Professor Foster had in him. He 
made such excellent grades that he was often called 
upon to grade other teachers' examination papers. Thus 
at the very beginning of his short teaching career he won 
the confidence and admiration of local and state school 
authorities. 

At the expiration of his first year as principal of the 

21 



22 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Flat Rock school Professor McDonald resigned so that 
he might gain a broader knowledge of men and affairs 
and at the same time do something else that would bring 
a greater financial return. It is too sad that the pay of 
teachers, as a rule, is so meager that many of the best 
instructors, after a year or two, quit the profession for 
more lucrative fields. This has been done since teach- 
ing began and it is high time that the school authorities 
see to it that good, worthy teachers remain in the pro- 
fession, even if it takes a little more money to hold them. 

When McDonald resigned his place as principal of 
the school the community, the county and the state lost 
a natural born teacher and leader. He had so conducted 
his school that other teachers came for miles to study his 
methods. He was also in great demand to lecture to 
teachers in many sections of the state. 

After teaching for one year at Flat Rock young Mc- 
Donald came to Fort Worth in 1885. He was not long 
in the city before he found employment as a shipping 
clerk with D. Schworty & Co. This place he filled so 
well that after eight months he was promoted to stock 
clerk. This position he held for sixteen months, when 
the firm went broke. His salary was sixty dollars per 
month, including board. 

During the time from 1885 to 1887, although work- 
ing for a business firm, McDonald did not fail to 
improve himself along literary lines. He read all the 
best books he could get and never missed an opportunity 
to see a Shakespearean play. In fact, he witnessed the 
plays of all the masters that came to the Panther City. 

Young McDonald was a very busy man from 1885 to 
1*889. As a delegate to the Supreme Lodge of the Seven 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 23 

Stars of Consolidation he so impressed the members of 
that growing order that they lost no time in electing him 
their Grand Lecturer for the state of Texas. This took 
him to all parts of the state where colored people lived 
and under his benign influence and sound logic many 
joined the order. Between 1885 and 1889 the member- 
ship of this order increased to more than 10,000. Men 
and women in all vocations of life were in the order and 
it was doing much needed good for our people. They 
joined under the influence of this wonderful young man. 

In 1888 Mr. McDonald was elected President and 
General Superintendent of the Texas Colored State Fair. 
In 1889 he was elected Supreme Grand Chief of the 
"Seven Stars of Consolidation of America." The for- 
mer place was given him by the citizens of Texas, the 
latter place by the citizens of most of the states south of 
the Mason and Dixon line. He received both because 
of merit. There was not a man of color better fitted for 
the great responsibilities of these two important offices 
than the one upon whom the honor was bestowed. Either 
place was a man's job, but this young man was willing to 
be used for the good of his people and he tackled both 
jobs. Great success came to his efforts along both lines. 
Both places necessitated much travel and as a result he 
was absent from home most of his time from '85 to '89. 
He came to the conclusion that he could be of service to 
his people as a member of the order, founded on "Wis- 
dom, Love and Truth," and as he was the order's Su- 
preme Grand Chief, he resigned the Presidency of the 
Colored Fair Association. 

The stockholders did not accept his resignation and he 
served to the end of the associational year, April 12, 



24 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

1889. Much success had crowned the efforts of the 
stockholders of the State Fair under the leadership and 
management of McDonald and they reluctantly gave 
him up. Others attempted to fill his place and for a 
short while did fairly well, but the great Moses was not 
leading and after a few years the Colored State Fair of 
Texas was only a matter of record. 

After April 12, 1889, McDonald devoted all of his 
time to the upbuilding of the Seven Stars of Consolida- 
tion. This order grew by leaps and bounds and became 
the leading order in the Southwest. In the fall of that 
year his wife, a very devoted as well as highly cultured 
woman, began to fail in health. To be near her and to 
give her his entire attention, Mr. McDonald refused to 
be a candidate for re-election as Supreme Grand Chief 
of the order. Mr. William Massey was elected Grand 
Chief at Austin by the Grand Lodge in 1889. 

Mrs. McDonald was a public school teacher and 
assisted her husband in many ways in the establishment 
of a home far beyond the average in Kaufman County, 
Texas. By this time they had one of the most hospitable 
homes in the county and in addition a few acres of good 
farm land and a nice little bank account. To be with 
his wife he decided to re-enter the teaching profession, 
so in the fall of 1889 he accepted the principalship of 
the graded school at Forney, Texas. At this time he was 
only twenty-three years of age, but he had had much 
experience in travel, and being a close observer and an 
ardent student, carried into the school room much of 
that real greatness that goes to make a successful and 
brilliant teacher. Having had a hard time in his early 
efforts to secure an education, he readily sympathized 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 25 

with the many little boys and girls who came to his 
school. The splendid record that he had made in the 
very county in which he was now principal of one of 
the leading graded schools was known by many of his 
pupils. Many of them, with their principal as an ideal, 
vied with each other for the honor of being the brightest 
pupil in the district in point of scholarship. 

Prof. McDonald was a Negro. The pupils were all 
Negroes. In him the tots of Kaufman County could see 
their ideal. It is true he followed the prescribed curricu- 
lum, but he was master of the books taught in this school 
and in addition taught out of a broad experience from 
contact with men and travel. Even at this late date the 
school room is sadly in need of teachers who dare beyond 
the limited confines of the printed pages. We need 
teachers who can teach the pupils better than they can 
teach the subjects. Much good is accomplished when 
the students are taught, and to do this the instructor often 
must go outside of the special textbook and draw upon 
his accumulated knowledge of conditions and affairs. 

I spoke of ideals found in our teachers. The most 
critical students of school room methods and the art of 
teaching and the process of intellectual development are 
agreed that when school children find their ideals in 
their pedagogues and members of their own race they 
acquire information more readily. For fifty years we 
have been taught out of books written by white folks. 
White authors, and justly so, have taken ideals from 
their own race. They are not to be blamed for this. 
They have never been slaves in this country and oppor- 
tunities for study and self-improvement have been pre- 
sented them since the discovery of America. They have 



26 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

been foremost in thought and intellectual development. 
The civilization of the Western Hemisphere has been 
built up by the white man. My people were slaves, too 
busy tilling the soil and obeying the mandates of their 
masters to write books. In fact they were forbidden to 
even learn the English alphabet. They could not pro- 
duce books under their condition of servitude. But, 
thanks to the lovers of human liberty, some North, 
some South, some East and West; the intolerable con- 
dition of my race, prior to the thirteenth, fourteenth 
and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution of the 
United States of America, has been somewhat alleviated 
and we have our free public schools, and a few denom- 
inational institutions of learning and a few non-sectarian 
universities. After fifty years, with these privileges 
and advantages, even though in many instances they are 
poor in c omparison with those enjoyed by our white 
friends, the time has come when we should produce 
books along all lines, yes, even text books, and then the 
rising boys and girls of color could find their ideals in 
the black race. When colored authors come to the front 
with worthy productions I feel that we will have little 
trouble in having white authorities agree that our books 
be placed in public schools attended by Negro children. 
When this day comes — and come it will— indeed a new 
era will dawn upon the colored youths attending the 
public schools of America. Prof. W. S. Scarborough, 
vice president of Wilberforce University, Ohio, a man 
of my race has written a Greek Grammar and many 
treatises on Greek. His grammar is used by some of 
fhe Northern universities. What an inspiration to 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 27 

Negro boys and girls to recite from a Greek grammar 
written by a member of their own race. 

I hope I am clear. I am not finding fault with the 
white authors' books, but I am trying to show that when 
Negroes produce books, books used in the public schools, 
histories, grammars, arithmetics, geographies, in fact 
all of the text books used from the first grade through 
the universties, Negro boys and girls will have greater 
incentives to study. This may sound fallacious, but I 
believe it nevertheless. Not many years ago, most of 
the schools for Negroes were taught by white teachers. 
At that time the black race had not produced men and 
women of sufficient education to teach in our public 
schools and higher institutions of learning. Our former 
white teachers, white teachers of Negro boys and girls 
will always have a place of honor in the memory of those 
whom they taught. But the time came, and only a few 
years in the past, when public sentiment decided that it 
was better for colored teachers to handle the situation. 
In many instances Negro teachers were not as well pre- 
pared as their predecessors. But it was thought that 
the colored pedagogue could get better results, or could 
more forcibly impress the young of their own race. At 
any rate, the white teachers went out of the colored 
schools and black teachers went in. I have a strong 
presentiment that when my race reaches the point when 
we produce worthy text books and these books are taught 
in our public schools, our boys and girls will have 
greater incentives to spur them on in the acquisition of 
knowledge. I am aware that truths and facts when 
once made known become the property of the human 
race, but it is perfectly natural for the young to scan the 



28 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

pages of history to see what those of their race have 
contributed to the advancement of civilization. 

The school of which Prof. William McDonald was 
principal at Forney had four rooms. It was a fairly 
good wooden building for its time and purpose. Located 
in a very prosperous farming district, the pupils were 
close to nature and very eager to learn from the four 
teachers who took pride in rendering all aid possible in 
assisting their principal in moulding the lives and char- 
acters of the two or more hundred young Americans 
intrusted to their training. Principal McDonald car- 
ried into the school room those charms with which he in 
after years won men and women, both white and colored, 
to his way of thinking. He was positive, yet kind, to 
his teachers and pupils. He made a few rules, yet he 
required all to obey them. He was ready to teach 
because he prepared his work in advance. His pupils 
thought he had no superiors and few equals. They had 
unbounded confidence in his ability and thought he was 
the best school teacher in all the country. He inspired 
them with confidence by his masterly way in handling 
the many school problems that confronted him from 
time to time. Being master of the situation at all 
times, he impressed his pupils as only exceptionally 
well trained instructors can do. His fame went to all 
sections of the state as being one of the most successful 
principals in the country. 

Not only did the pupils love and honor their prin- 
cipal, but the grownups, the school patrons, the mothers 
and fathers held him in high esteem. They deemed it 
a great honor to have the principal dine with them. 
Prof. McDonald was the guest of honor on many 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 29 

occasions. The patrons believed in him. They con- 
sulted him on all questions — questions pertaining to 
farming, to buying and selling homes, to all kinds of 
problems in arithmetic, the origin, shape, size and move- 
ments of the earth, religious and doctrinal questions of 
all times and people, historical and scientific interroga- 
tions — in fact all manner of inquiries were brought to 
him. So well did he take care of the situation that both 
young and old thought him the most learned citizen 
of the county. 

My young readers may not know that there was a 
time in the early history of our people when the 
preacher was consulted on all questions. He was the 
chief adviser along all lines. In fact, he was about the 
only individual of any learning, and to him all ques- 
tions were taken. Not only was he consulted along 
religious lines; but he was questioned on governmental 
affairs, educational affairs, farming, science, in fact 
about all information that may be obtained from books. 
He was looked upon as a walking encyclopaedia. As a 
class, the preachers were our best prepared men thirty- 
five or forty years ago, and in most instances the masses 
were justified in seeking counsel from the clergy. Please 
' do not infer that the author desires to convey the impres- 
sion that the preachers of the colored race are not as 
well prepared today as they were a half century ago. 
The fact is they are better prepared along all lines at 
present than at any previous time. Nor must you con- 
clude that you are not justified in taking advice from 
reputable preachers. In their special line they are un- 
excelled. In matters religious they are more capable of 
advice than any other class. But we are living in an 



30 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

age of specialization, and information is more general 
than forty years ago. So, instead of going to the good 
preacher for an answer to all of our questions, we seek 
those who have received special training along certain 
lines. 

Prior to 1865, as far as I have been able to ascertain, 
there was not a single Negro teacher in all the South- 
land. In fact, we had free schools for colored children 
before we had Negro teachers. Our children were 
taught in public schools by white teachers. It was not 
long, however, before ambitious colored young men and 
women prepared themselves to teach the boys and girls 
of their own race. Public sentiment was with them in 
their efforts to train those of their color. It was thought 
and rightly so, that Negro teachers would get better 
results from Negro children. Still in a few places, 
white teachers taught in colored schools as late as 1915, 
and even then reluctantly gave way for the colored ped- 
agogue. Much honor and thanks and credit are due 
those faithful white teachers who held the teaching 
places in the public schools until they could prepare us 
and until an awakening public sentiment concluded 
that the Negro children would at least feel more at 
home under the tutelage of those of their own color. 
Those faithful white teachers who taught colored chil- 
dren in public schools, immediately after the Civil War, 
when colored teachers could not be found, deserve much 
praise in addition to the pay they received. In many of 
our eleemosynary institutions white teachers still work 
and we are grateful to them for their efforts in the 
uplift of the race. 

• Prof. McDonald not only attracted the attention of 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 31 

his school patrons, but the community in general. The 
school authorities had so much confidence in him that 
he was made a member of the teachers 5 examining 
board. He had the distinction of grading teachers' 
examination papers, an honor that has come to but few 
of the colored teachers in the state of Texas. He served 
well his community, not only in the school room, but 
in religious, state and social affairs. Such a man is a 
great benefactor to any country, state or nation. 

It is regrettable that McDonald did not remain in 
the public schools of Texas. Having received a high 
school education, having traveled over the country, 
having had much experience with men of affairs, being 
a close student of events and human nature, having 
read many of the best books obtainable on pedagogy; 
and having studied the masters on the art of imparting 
information, with a commanding personality, possessing 
the uncommon faculty of being able to impart what he 
knew, and lacking that grit which some of our school 
keepers are wont to demonstrate when they attempt to 
teach things they do not know, this man, Prof. William 
Madison McDonald, could have accomplished much in 
the educational advancement of his native state. 

He is the kind of man that impresses the young. His 
personality is all that could be asked of a teacher. His 
love for children is indeed of that kind that Christ 
had when He said, "Suffer little children to come unto 
me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." His dress 
and manner are worthy of imitation. Much reading 
had made him a ready man. He loved to watch the 
little human buds as they unfolded and began to send 
intellectual fragrance in all directions. He admired 



32 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the brave boys and girls as they challenged their less 
courageous mates in historical and arithmetical con- 
tests. His big heart went out in sympathy for those 
whom nature had not endowed with sharp and ready 
intellects and he stood a guiding star to lead them on 
and on in the quest of knowledge. No man can be a 
successful teacher, no matter how much information 
from books, travel or experience he may possess, unless 
he has a large heart and that heart goes out in sympathy 
for humanity. He must love children and strive to 
bring them to his intellectual horizon. 

I have known McDonald for a number of years. I 
have visited him in his home, perhaps, more than any 
other citizen of Texas. I have watched him at work 
in his bank. I have heard him make political speeches. 
I have listened to him at school commencements. I 
have heard him deliver orations in dedicating churches. 
I have heard him before the great lodges of Texas. I 
have listened to many of his orations to his people on 
different subjects. I have studied the man and without 
hesitancy, I tell you that in my opinion, he ranks higher 
as a school teacher than in any of the other lines in 
which he has engaged. Perhaps had he remained in 
the teaching profession, he would not be so well known 
as he is in the political world and the banking world, 
but, after a careful study of the man, with at least 
forty-five years' experience as a pupil and teacher my- 
self, I am convinced that McDonald's greatness rests 
largely upon his success as a teacher. Still his fame 
is generally accepted along political lines. He is, how- 
ever, a great man, and would excel in any calling or 
line. Caesar was a great orator, a great statesman, a 




Prof. William Coleman, A. B. 
Principal High School, El Paso 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 33 

great poet, a great general ; in fact, he was great at any 
and every thing he attempted. It was because truly 
he was a great man. McDonald is a great man and 
would be great in any line. Nature fixed it so. The 
elements are so mixed in him that he would be a suc- 
cess in any line. It seems as if the inexorable laws of 
nature ordained him to lead in any endeavor. 

He was principal of the Forney High School until 
1895. He went there as head teacher in 1889. For 
the period of six years he was active in everything for 
the betterment of his people. He studied law under a 
private tutor, while attending high school. He was 
very fond of civil government and he naturally drifted 
towards politics. He saw some grave mistakes that 
were being made by those who were directing the polit- 
ical destinies of the county, state and nation. As a 
citizen he could not sit idly by without raising his 
voice in protestation. He decided to enter politics and 
the State of Texas lost one of its most efficient teachers. 

As a public school teacher, Mr. McDonald made 
such a splendid record that many of the higher institu- 
tions of learning, both in Texas and in other parts of 
the country, offered him many inducements to accept 
a professorship. At that time, having great ambitions 
along political lines, he refused a position on the staff 
of any of the higher institutions of learning. How- 
ever, he had great ambitions along educational lines and 
continued to improve himself by diligent study. 

In 1905 he prepared several papers on education, 
one a "Thesis on Moral Philosophy," was submitted 
to the president and faculty of Paul Quin College, lo- 
cated at Waco, Texas. So well pleased were the college 



34 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

authorities with Mr. McDonald's ideas, composition, 
logic and presentation of his theme, that they conferred 
on him the degree of "Doctor of Philosophy" at their 
annual commencement, June 1, 1905. 

Few people know that he has the degree of Ph. D. 
Unlike many, he does not place the letters after his 
name. He rather prefers that the world judge him by 
his works, in the uplift of his fellow man. I am not 
sure if the good people of Texas will remember him 
more as a banker or teacher; more as a politician or 
leader of fraternal orders; more as a philanthropist or 
historian; but of one thing I am certain, that the people 
of the nation will ever look upon him as the leading 
politician of his race during his age. 

Few men and women gain a reputation outside of 
their county and state as teachers. Mr. McDonald was 
not only known in all sections of Texas as a public 
school teacher; but many school authorities in other 
states recognized his ability and offered him work. 
Many invitations outside of his native state came to him 
to address colleges and universities on commencement 
occasions. When his other duties permitted, he ac- 
cepted the invitations of the outside universities. He 
took to them the message of love, self-reliance, and 
urged upon the pupils the supreme importance of an 
education. In many states he will be remembered for 
his scholarly addresses to both faculty and students. 

To the thousands of my fellow workers in the teach- 
ing profession, I appeal that you be ambitious, studious 
at all times, ever ready to help elevate those with whom 
you come in contact, properly mold and shape the 
characters of the boys and girls for they are the men 



AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER 35 

and women of tomorrow. The most lasting monument 
you can build is the one in the hearts of men and 
women, boys and girls. From the life of my friend, 
McDonald, as a public school teacher, I am sure you 
may learn many important lessons that will greatly 
assist in solving the many and perplexing problems that 
confront you in the school room. 



CHAPTER V 

Member of the Free and Accepted Masons. 1886 

In 1886, Mr. McDonald joined the Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons of the Texas jurisdiction. This order 
is one of the oldest in America. It was organized in 
this country by the patriot. Prince Hall, at Boston, 
Mass., in 1784. In 1872, nearly one hundred years 
after the first Masonic lodge was set up in Boston, San 
Antonio Lodge was organized at San Antonio, Texas. 
In 1886 McDonald became a member of Pilgrim 
Lodge No. 94, at Denison, Texas. 

In those days, the last quarter of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, a young man with a high school education had 
an excellent chance to help his people. Mr. McDonald 
was a student of men and affairs. In addition to his 
schooling he was a great reader. He loved to read the 
master orations of the orators of the past. He studied 
the different forms of government. He carefully com- 
pared the many styles of architecture. He studied men, 
the races, he studied humanity. He devoted himself 
diligently in learning what men had done that he might 
be the better prepared to advise his people. God bless 
the spirits of those early fraternal leaders. They were 
noble men and women. Some died not knowing at all 
times how properly to express themselves according to 
the more recent philologist. Some never studied gram- 
mar, but their hearts were right and they wanted to 
help humanity. Some never studied arithmetic, but 

37 



38 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

they counted as best they could the amount due be- 
reaved beneficiaries. Many were unable to read, but 
they knew the Golden Rule. Among, with and for 
these people, young McDonald worked. He was their 
lawyer, for he had studied Blackstone; he was their 
mathematician, their grammarian; in short, their 
Moses. 

He labored with them but a short while before they 
had implicit confidence in his ability. Gifted by nature, 
and made ready by diligent study, he soon became the 
solon of fraternalism in Texas. 

Charmed by the wonderful works of the Free and 
Accepted Masons, believing fully in their cardinal 
principles, McDonald devoted much of his time in a 
thorough preparation for the work that he was to do 
for the Masons of Texas and the world. 

In 1899, at Bryan, the Texas F. & A. M. held their 
annual meeting. Many lodges had been organized in 
the jurisdiction. The membership then numbered a 
few thousand. When the delegates began the election 
of officers, all eyes were turned upon Mr. McDonald, 
who that year was elected "Right Worshipful Grand 
Secretary." This office is the most important in the 
order. Upon the sagacity and integrity of the R. W. G. 
Secretary depends the very life of the fraternity. 

For twenty-six years he has served the Masons of 
Texas in one office. He has been elected each year 
without opposition. Several times he has asked the 
brethren to relieve him of the great responsibility, but 
they have refused each time. The Masons of Texas 
have wisely kept Brother McDonald in the most impor- 
tant office in their gift. His skill in the handling of 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 39 

their financial affairs has vindicated their trust in him. 
At his earnest solicitation and under his wise leadership 
one of the most imposing Masonic Temples in the 
country was erected in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1907. 

This building is located in the Panther City on the 
northeast corner of Ninth and Jones Streets. Three 
blocks from Main Street, in the heart of the business 
section of the city, stands this magnificent temple, a 
monument to the colored Masons of Texas. The ground 
floor contains the "Fraternal Bank & Trust Company," 
of which Mr. McDonald is president and the largest 
stock holder; also the Temple Drug Store, the most 
up-to-date and largest drug store in the country owned 
by a colored man. He is owner of this store also. On 
the second floor are lodge rooms, office rooms and rest 
rooms. The main auditorium is located on the third 
floor and will seat one thousand people. The annual 
gathering of the Masons of Texas is held in this most 
attractive auditorium. 

Mr. McDonald has indeed ingratiated himself in the 
hearts of the members of the Grand Lodge and the 
Brethren of Texas. He has not only looked after local 
matters in the Texas jurisdiction, but foreign. Read 
his sublime thoughts to the M. W. Grand Lodge, F. & 
A. M., held at Dallas, July, 1905: 

"REPORT ON FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE. 

By William Madison McDonald. 



"To the Most Worshipful, the Grand Master; the Members 
of the Grand Lodge, and the Brethren of the Jurisdiction 
of Texas: 

"Again, and for the third time, your committee is privileged 



40 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to present you with some report of Masonic doings in the sister 
Jurisdictions. 

"Some portion of the work which follows has been carried 
out while the mind of the writer was burdened with anxiety 
on account of business perplexities ; and again while benumbed 
with grief. 

"Ere the winter wore to spring, death entered my father's 
home and took him to join my mother, who had crossed to 
the Great Beyond many years ago. From the soul's sad 
Gethsemane there went vain prayers that the cup of coming 
grief might pass. If no Lethean draught awaits deliverance 
from the flesh, perchance, from sun-kissed hills of high beati- 
tude the soul may look upon the path below — its subtler sense 
resolving into perfect meaning all that mystery which we here 
name life and death. 

"How vain it is to gild a grief with words, and if those who 
press and strain against our hearts could never die, perhaps 
that love would wither from the earth. 

"We know that through the common wants of life, the 
needs and duties of each hour, our grief will lessen day by 
day until at last, a grave will be to us a place of rest and peace, 
almost a joy. And yet who shall deny but that the note of 
human sorrow — the monotone of grief — echoed into the high 
harmony of heaven like some sad, sweet minor heard ever 
and again through the dominant chords of seraphic outburst, 
may touch and thrill the deathless ones to holier ecstasy than 
ever the wondrous song of Israel. 

"A destiny stands at the loom of our lives and from the 
swift flying shuttles of our days, casts ever the gay or somber 
threads that make the texture of our being. And perhaps, 
when the finished web shall be unraveled for judgment of 
our worth and work, it may be that the darker shaded portions 
of your grief and mine, my brethren, shall have in them such 
tincture of beauty and richness of texture as shall save the 
whole from condemnation. And when between our sorrow 
and ourselves, time shall have dropped the flimsy curtains of 
the years, we may behold as in some heaven-sent dream, the 
familiar face of one 'whom we have loved long since and lost 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 41 

awhile.' And when the kindly suns and swiftly falling rains 
shall clothe their grave with tender green, and evening winds 
shall breathe of love to bending flowers above their head, and 
into the chalice of our grief an unseen hand shall pour a kindly 
anodyne, there shall come to us as each soul on earth that 
mounrs, a peace which is forever born of hope. 

"In taking up this work again with somewhat more of con- 
fifidence there comes to mind the recurrent questioning as to 
the USE and PURPOSE of the fraternity. 

"The brethren will pardon if the answering thereto should 
be put in form of simple allegory. I had a dream, not unlike 
the dream of him who slept in Bedford jail, and I dreamt 
that Blackstone, Rockefeller and Grand Master McKinney, 
three souls of earth, who had fared to the end of life's jour- 
ney and sought admittance into that house not made with 
hands, but eternally in the heavens. The first two were 
clothed in splendid raiment and were decked with jewels and 
carried with them many treasures. But Grand Master McKin- 
ney was in poor apparel and carried naught in his hands but his 
trowel and one dull stone somewhat curiously marked ; at 
Grand Master McKinney, his clothing, trowel and his stone, 
the other two scoffed and laughed. Thus they traveled. On 
reaching the gate of entrance the One that was within required 
from each of these an account of good deeds done in the 
world, before yet he might be received into the company of 
the blessed, or the Grand Lodge, where God presides. 

"Mr. Blackstone, who was well appareled, spoke first and 
said: 'Lord, in my earth life I have sought out all the creeds 
and instructed myself in even the smallest things of the law. 
Against none of Thy Commandments have I knowingly 
sinned. I have shunned the company and companionship of 
evil-doers, and have spared not in my condemnation of their 
wickedness. And at morning and at night, I have prayed for 
other men. And among these treasures which I have brought 
are the golden-lettered writings of priests and those that have 
known of my worth and learning, and my strict observance 
of Thy law.' 

"And then Mr. Rockefeller spoke up and said: 'Lord, I 



42 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

wrought in the marts of men, my labors were blessed with 
abundant reward. I was rich with many treasures and sought 
with my wealth to add to Thy glory. I built great temples 
and Cathedrals in which Thy worshipers might sit softly. 
Cunning workers in stone toiled long and skillfully to erect 
them in beauty and strength. On windows and on walls, 
artists of renown painted beautiful pictures, and sculptors 
adorned the aisles with images of the saints. And when the 
bells from those high towers call men to devotion, there is 
within soft warmth, light and music, and sweet tongued ora- 
tory. For all this, Lord, I have gained honor and admiration 
and my memory as a just and righteous man will long remain 
in the world. Of my treasures I have brought only the plans 
and charters of these great colleges, temples and cathedrals, 
and the praises of men, all writ out fair on parchment and 
enclosed in jeweled caskets.' 

"Now, Grand Master McKinney, hearing of these great 
things, was sore abased and loathe to speak until He who was 
within the gates demanded him to answer. Then Grand Mas- 
ter McKinney spoke out in bold, clear words and said: 

" 'Lord, on earth I have had neither wealth nor learning. 
I have fared painfully on the path of life and my feet are 
sore and weary with the journey j now knew I aught of creeds 
and Comandments save only this — that men should love Thee 
and one another. And when one of my fellow craftsmen 
stumbled and fell by the wayside, I helped him again to his 
feet. When one more helpless than myself, was wounded or 
suffering, I did what little thing I might to bring relief. To 
those in sorrow, I spoke my rude words of sympathy and bade 
them remember Thee for their comfort. I have given of my 
crust to him or her that hungered and brought a cup of water 
to him that was athirst. I have no monument which shall re- 
mind other fellow craftsmen and travelers of my name, and 
only in the hearts of a few, poor as myself, will I be remem- 
bered on earth. And the only treasure I have brought is this 
tool of my profession and this poor stone, which one whom 
I succored, pressed upon me, and it being curiously marked 
I have kept it until this day. 5 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 43 

"Mr. Blackstone and Mr. Rockefeller looked upon Grand 
Master McKinney who had spoken, in scorn for his poverty 
and his color and drew from him nearer to the gate. But He 
that was within commanded them to stand back, and said: 

" 'Now is this poor man, Grand Master McKinney, blessed 
above you both and others. For as you have brought, of all 
the things of the earth, only the record of deeds done for your 
own glory and that you might be praised and remembered 
among men, he has carried even to the gate of heaven, the 
fairest jewel of all the earth — the love and gratitude of a 
brother whom he aided in distress.' 

"And as I looked the faded garments of Grand Master 
McKinney became all clean and beautiful, and the hitherto 
rusty trowel and dull stone in his hand shone with a radiant 
light. And these two others were become all shredded and 
patched in raiment, and all their treasures shriveled into ashes. 
And when the gate opened the One within said: 'For as much 
as ye did it unto the least of these, ye did it unto Me.' 

"So passing from our simple allegory would we reason that 
what best inculcates brotherly love, relief and truth in a world 
of selfishness and self-seeking, is worthy of preservation and 
propagation. Thus judged, Masonry is not far remote from 
that sacred precinct where faith stands ever with up-lifted 
finger. Thus imbued her votaries shall find work until that 
far-off time when 'The whole round world is bound with 
golden chains about the feet of God.' And this may be deemed 
the uses and purposes of our honorable society." 

In the proceedings of the Forty-fourth Annual Com- 
munication, M. W. Grand Lodge, Texas jurisdiction, 
held in the Masonic Temple, Fort Worth, July, 1919; 
I find a very lengthy report written by Mr. McDonald. 
The entire report should be given, however, I desire that 
you read the beginning and conclusion. No one can 
question his understanding of the laws and principles 
of the Masons. No one can question his loyalty and 
patriotism and love of country. He spoke as follows: 



44 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

(By William Madison McDonald, Rt. W. G. Secretary.) 

"When Grand Master H. D. Winn called this Most Wor- 
shipful Grand Lodge to labor last July, the teeming millions 
of men scattered over the globe, were in the midst of dark 
and dubious days of cruel heart-rending and destructive war. 
By reason of this fact and the further fact that our head was 
bowed in grief on account of the death of my only child, Wm. 
Madison McDonald, Jr., who was the pride and hope of my 
life; we were unable to take up our task of writing a report 
on Fraternal Correspondence for the Masonic Year 1918. 

"The world is still wrapped in the dark winding sheet of 
the worst war that has ever blackened the pages of human 
history. Over on the Eastern Hemisphere the thin line of 
brave, mad men, who have so staunchly and steadily stood 
out against what England, France, Russia and the United 
States are pleased to name, c the hordes of a mad militarism,' 
and claimed that it would utterly destroy human liberty, has 
been pushed over the Rhine; has been badly bent and in many 
places broken; yea, made to sue for peace unconditionally. 
Will they keep peaceable? Has the day of 'PEACE ON 
EARTH GOOD WILL TOWARD ALL MEN' come? 
God alone knows. 

"In this terrible slaughter of men, done in the name of 
liberty and democracy, two million American black and white 
were thrown in to appease the God of war, while at home 
many million more black and white were working, hoping, 
praying that right, and not might, shall rule the world. To- 
day it still appears that Might makes Right. Does God 
answer the prayers of men and women? Under the white 
light of Masonic truth, who is bold enough to say that He 
does? It is under conditions like these that our duty requires 
us to write a Report on Fraternal Correspondence. 

"So much that is dark and dire has been done in these awful 
war days — so much that is designedly, purposely, and mali- 
ciously cruel and corroding — so much that is foul and vile, 
nauseating, reviling and loathsome, that one wonders if there 
can really be any Fraternity at all left in the world. 

"Is Masonic Fraternity dead, or about to die? Will it die 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 45 

as a result of this awful war? Has this universal sweep of 
greed, racial hate, jealousy, international intrigue for world 
domination crushed out Masonic Fraternity? 

"For it is not in the incredible stupendous destruction of 
property, nor in the woeful and widespread wasting of the 
fields, nor even in the massacre by governmental orders of 
millions of lives that the chief calamity of this awful and terri- 
ble war is to be found, but rather in this horrid holocaust of 
racial hate, malice, jealousy and prejudices that have swept 
its way into the hearts of men wheresoever scattered over the 
globe. Yet after all is it all abstraction? Is there no light 
in this thick darkness, no glimmer or gleam upon the far 
horizon? Hope, blessed word! comes to our rescue. We sug- 
gest, may it not be that the world is after all not so dark as it 
seems, that it is our own eyes that are so blinded by doubt and 
despair that we cannot see? Let us Masons all hope that 
this is true. 

"As we slowly wended our way to our office on a morning 
not long since, when nature had covered the fields, hills and 
valleys with a most beautiful green and the birds were chirp- 
ping and singing on the branches of trees, we found ourselves 
pondering these heavy things in our hearts. On this route 
we passed one of those noble structures (built of taxes taken 
from the pockets of black and white citizens, but used for 
white children only) so dear to the heart of democracy — a pub- 
lic school. The windows were open and the children were 
singing their morning song. As their sweet fresh voices rang 
their silvery way into my somber soul, the inner chambers of 
my heart grew bright. They were singing the immortal strains 
of our National Anthem — singing it from the heart as only 
little children can sing, and hardened man of the world as I 
am, they made my eyes wet, not with tears of sorrow, but 
those of jeweled joy! We thought of the words of a great 
man, a great philosopher, and a great humanitarian. He said 
on one occasion: 

" 'No day can be so sacred, but that the laugh and song 
of child will make the holiest day more sacred still. 
Strike with hand of fire, Oh, weird musician, thy harp 



46 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

string with Apollo's golden hair; 

Fill the vast Cathedral aisles with symphonies sweet 
and dim, deft toucher of the organ keys; 

Blow bugler, blow, until their silver notes do touch 
the skies, 

With moonlit waves and charms the lovers wandering 
on the vine clad hills; 

But know your sweetest strains are discords all com- 
pared with childhood's happy laughs; 

The laugh that fills the eyes with light and every 
heart with joy. 

O, rippling river of life, thou, art the blessed boundary 
line between the beasts and men and every wayward 
wave of thine doth drown some fiend of care; 

Oh, song and laughter, divine daughters of joy, make 
dimples enough in the cheeks of the world to catch 
and hold and glorify all the tears of grief. 1 

"All we caught from the children's song as we passed by 
was the phrase, 'Through the perilous night.' Yet for us black 
Masons that phrase was like a message from heaven, or a siren 
song, somehow, suggesting the words of hope of the prophet 
poet telling us: 

" 'Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the 

throne, 
Yet the scaif old sways the future, and behind the dim 

unknown 
Standeth God within the shadow keeping watch above 

His own.' 
"That God whom we as Masons trust and serve truly, 
He will lead us on — on 'Through the Perilous night,' 
No matter how dark the night or day may be! 
'So long Thy power has blessed us, sure it still will 

lead us on, 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent 
Till the night is gone!' 

"And then we thought how long centuries ago the Christ 
had walked and taught upon the shores of Galilee, assuring 
men that it was the internal and not the external thing that 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 47 

was after all really worth while ; that love and charity were 
worth more than life and 'That greater love hath no man than 
this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.' And how 
that when the test came to Christ and He must prove the sin- 
cerity of His tenets with His own life, He bravely, sweetly 
and forgivingly offered that life upon the altar of humanity; 
offered it so that the internal part of us all might live on and 
not die. And then as we thought of the two million black and 
white American men, marching on 'Over there,' marching to 
give up their lives for their brother men, even as Christ had 
done, we came to know that Masonic Fraternity was far from 
dead, but more alive than ever before. 

"When millions of human beings strive in behalf of a 
cause, yes relative, if you please, that relative cause becomes a 
high and holy one — it partakes of the safety, the majesty and 
immortality of God and it simply cannot and will not fail! 
For God himself will see that the whole world is made safe 
for fraternity and that means safe for democracy, for in the 
last the final analysis, fraternity and democracy are one and 
inseparable, neither can exist without the other. There can be 
no democracy where men fail to meet upon the level and on 
the square before the law and wheresoever they do so meet and 
part, fraternity thrives hand and hand with democracy. For 
in the end, Fraternity, real democracy is but the perfection 
of that art that fosters among men of the earth the noble con- 
tention of who best can work and best agree, who best can love 
and work with his brother man, not for his brother man. So 
that when all is said and done, it becomes very clear that while 
this war was not a Masonic war and Masons everywhere 
grieved by reason of the wicked, cruel slaughter of men and 
the destruction of property, yet this war is at bottom a war to 
preserve and perpetuate Masonic and human fraternity in a 
world made forever free and as such it perforce must be a 
high and glorious war — a war whose righteous result is 
guarded and guaranteed by the power of the infinite and 
eternal God. 

"What we have said here will not and must not prevent 
Masons from wishing, hoping and desiring peace. We must 
ever contend for peace on earth and good will toward all men, 



48 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

writing upon our banner, 'Fraternity and Democracy.' When 
the teeming, toiling billions of human beings of the earth find 
themselves, open their eyes, stand erect, meet upon the level 
and part upon the square, then our dark days and nights will 
have passed and mankind wheresoever dispersed around the 
globe, will see in the tenets of Free Masonry, the liberty and 
freedom of man, woman and child. 

The Great War. 

"Before proceeding with a resume of matters tng^ging my 
attention in an official way during the past twelve months, I 
am minded to advert to the fearful scourge that is absorbing 
the interest of civilized peoples everywhere. I refer, of course 
to the dreadful war, into which very considerable more than 
a majority of the nations of an advanced type of enlighten- 
ment have been drawn, and are involved in mortal combat, 
and whose black shadow for the past fifteen months has 
thrown a pall across our own land. Since we last met, com- 
munities have gathered to bid their soldiers good-bye. In 
their turn, obeying the mandate of the government, were our 
countrymen of dark hue, among whom might have been noted 
a sprinkling of our 'Brethren of the Plumb and Square,' sub- 
merging their individual prejudices and opinions and like good 
Masons, 'conforming with cheerfulness to the government of 
the country in which they live.' 

"With the sight of Masons marching away to a war which 
our government has solemnly affirmed is being waged in be- 
half of primary human interest, and which fact ere now must 
have become patent to the most indifferent, the thoughtful 
Mason will recall that Masonry will not have to ask herself 
if she stands for these fundamental interests. She will not of 
necessity be forced to make any modification in her tenets and 
practice which seem to stand in the way of fundamental human 
interests. When this mad-dog epoch is closed — and it must 
be sometime — and the sinister forces who are threatening the 
institutions which are mankind's precious inheritance from the 
past, have been subdued, and the count has been cast up, it 
will be found that the history of the pre-Revolutionary period 
of which it is said that the liberty of American colonies was 




Bishop J. W. McKinney 
Past Grand Master of Masons of Texas — A Life Long Friend 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 49 

rocked in the cradle of Masonry; that with three members 
absent, the assembly that ratified the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, might have been opened in form as a Lodge of 
Masons, will be the history of the Fraternity in this grave 
crisis. From the standpoint of our race, we can always point 
with pride to Prince Hall, our prototype, whose spirit is so 
firmly fixed in the hearts of Negro Masons, and whose name 
appears upon the records of the State of Massachusetts among 
the earliest enlistments of his country's cause. Here at home 
we have a concrete illustration in patriotism in the act of our 
own Past Grand Master, S. Joe Brown. He, at the first 
opportunity, made ready to sacrifice his well-established law 
practice, a future of great promise, and hurried to enlist with 
the colors, and whose Annual Address last year contained the 
ringing message: 'I am, and sincerely hope that every Negro 
Free Mason of the Iowa Jurisdiction shall ever be unwilling 
to render any less service to the State in time of war than that 
rendered by the most patriotic of any other race. 5 This stir- 
ring utterance most likely reflects the sentiment of all Negro 
Masons. In these are afforded eminent examples of what may 
be expected of the Negro Masons in time of national danger. 
Here is caught a vision of that calm loyalty that abides j that 
wears down and outlasts death. 

"Through the dark clouds that lower o'er this tiny sphere 
inhabited by a struggling mass of humanity, may the light of 
Masonry break forth and shine its message. That out of this 
world travail will emerge the brotherhood of man in a very- 
real sense. And when so many are laying their all upon the 
altar of a noble idealism, may the selfishness, at present so 
apparent, be shamed into hiding. That out of the supreme 
sacrifice made by the few, and the lesser sacrifice made by the 
many, our national life shall be purified and our nation shall 
save her soul — and 

'Love's Millennial morn shall rise 
O'er waiting hearts and longing eyes.' 



50 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

CONCLUSION. 

Now What of the War? 

"The World War has been most far-reaching in its results 
and has done many things besides threatening to change the 
maps of the world. 

"The ancient and most Honorable Institution or Society 
of Free Masonry, rock-rooted and heavy with age, has been 
shaken to its very foundation. Its tenets are being tried and 
tested as never before in the fire of world-wide conflagration 
of conflicting opinions. Races are being melted asunder and 
fused together again in new leagues or ties based upon newer 
and more sweeping applications of the ancient principles of 
human brotherhood. 

"All races are fast coming to know that as compared with 
the fostering of the great doctrine of human brotherhood 
nothing else in the world is worth considering. It alone is 
worth our thought and care, for every other last thing in life 
depends upon it alone. But alas, there are millions of men in 
America calling themselves Masons who are willing, yes, cheer- 
fully willing to assent that all humans, except humans with 
black skin, who happen to live in America are eligible to prac- 
tice the rites of Free Masonry. Grand bodies composed of 
these so-called Masons (which exist nowhere on earth except 
in North America) are unwilling to try to discover, if possible, 
some way of healing or amending this disgraceful, unwar- 
ranted color prejudice and of reuniting the Craft of human 
beings in an unbroken bond of fraternity that shall once more 
girdle the globe with its golden chain of brotherly love. 

"Free Masonry is universal and its tenets, therefore, are the 
rightful possession of the human family. No man or set of 
men; no race nor a nation can lay exclusive claims to the tenets 
cf Free Masonry any more than one man or set of men, race 
or a nation can lay exclusive claim to light, air, sunshine or 
rain. I wish that it could be said in truth, that the war had 
brought to light and made clear as never before the inherent 
noble, manly and divine qualities in the hearts of certain North 
American persons, calling and believing themselves to be Free 
Masons. 1 wish that I could understand them — see them in 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 51 

a new light — the light that gleams backward and forward 
between souls that suffer and sacrifice together in behalf of the 
Holy cause of human rights and human liberties. All citizens 
of America fought, sacrificed and died that these rights should 
not perish from the earth and that each human being should 
enjoy them. Why, then, should Americans with black or 
brown skins be denied human fellowship, or the strong bonds 
of Masonic Fraternity? 

"Despite the fact that twenty free African human beings 
were kidnaped and brought to America in 1619 and with su- 
perior force were reduced to conditions of slavery, among 
Christian men, they accepted all religious qualifications for 
initiation, put the Bible upon their altars and they are neither 
'Atheists' or 'irreligious libertines, 5 but devout followers of 
the Master, ready to lay down their lives as He did for the 
saving of their fellowmen. True, a few years ago a Grand 
Lodge composed of white Americans here and yonder like the 
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, State of Washington, showed 
signs of beginning to suspect that they may have been a bit 
hasty when they repudiated, rewrote and revised the Ancient 
Landmarks, Constitutions, Monitors and Rituals of Free Ma- 
sonry and cut themselves off from all fraternal relations with 
us, that they may have acted without knowing all the facts 
or understanding the reasons and motives that prompted them. 
But for this or that reason, this dim sign of Masonic Frater- 
nity was squelched and the grand and lofty tenets of Free 
Masonry were stifled to death on American soil in the house 
of its so-called friends. 

"Why is color prejudice so deep seated in North America? 
Here Protestant Christians, those who concern themselves most 
about the high ideals of Christ, dominate and presumingly send 
millions annually with missionaries to proselyte those they are 
pleased to call heathen live here, and here one finds the people 
of all colors, intolerant and opposed to Masonic Fraternity 
with one-tenth of the population because of their color. Can 
you trace the color-hate or prejudice to the church? The Cath- 
olic Church, which claims to be divinely organized or 
appointed, is a man-made institution and was conceived for the 
purpose of controlling and exploiting the labor of men, regard- 



52 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

less of color. This organization brought forth the doctrine of 
divine right of certain persons to govern and rule. Thus pro- 
claiming class distinction and setting a heartless bearer between 
man and man. The Catholic Church found Free Masonry to 
be its only opponent in its reach for universal power to crush 
the toiling masses in the name of Christ. Not more than a cen- 
tury ago Catholicism, wrapped in robes of red with the innocent 
blood of millions, holding in her frantic clutches crowns and 
scepters, honors and gold, the keys of heaven and hell, tram- 
pling beneath her feet the liberties of human beings in the 
proud moment of almost universal dominion, felt within her 
heartless breast the deadly dagger of Free Masons. Livid with 
hatred, she launched her eternal anathema at Free Masonry. 
Hence, this church became the most violent, bitter and relent- 
less foe Free Masonary had. It hated Free Maspnry because 
Masons taught a doctrine that all men must work and then 
have the right to enjoy the fruits of that labor ; that a day of 
twenty-four hours should be divided into three equal parts, 
allowing eight hours for labor, eight hours for sleep and eight 
hours for recreation and to serve God; that the human family 
all sprang from one common parent and as such were brethren; 
that the whole world was their country and to do good their 
religion; that pure religion was to visit the sick, administer to 
widows and orphans and to drive gaunt want from the doors 
of the unfortunate. 

"This gospel of Masonic truth and humanity had to be 
uprooted, regardless of the fact that it might bring on a long 
terrible and and bloody war. It was a fight between fraternity 
and autocracy. The Protestant Church, a child or an offshoot 
of the old Catholic Church, had now been firmly established in 
North America. It, too, was very decidedly opposed to the 
doctrine preached and practiced by Free Masons and especially 
the doctrine that all men sprang from one common parent and 
were created equal, endowed with certain rights, among which 
was the right to labor and to enjoy the fruits of his own labor. 
A mighty and terriffic fight was carried on in North America, 
Free Masons standing out against the Roman Catholic Church 
and the entire Protestant Church, which made up the Christian 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 53 

world. The first convention ever held in America to nominate 
candidates for President and Vice-President was called by 
Christian gentlemen and named an Anti-Masonic or Anti-Free 
Masons' Convention. The sword of Christian America was 
unsheathed and the Free Masons of North America were at 
the mercy of ignorant and infuriated priests and clergymen, 
whose eyes feasted upon the agonies they inflicted. Free Ma- 
sons were slandered, murdered, mobbed, lynched, assassinated 
and exiled from North America by Christian gentlemen all 
because they advocated the doctrine pointed out above. These 
bloody deeds could not be allowed to go on forever. So here 
in North America a compromise was reached and then the 
grand and lofty principles of Free Masonry were sacrificed 
upon the altar of color prejudice. North American Christians 
have temporarily triumphed. They repudiated, rewrote and 
revised the Ancient Landmarks, Constitutions, Monitors and 
Rituals of Free Masonry in a mad attempt to force Masons to 
deny the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. 

"The tenets of Free Masonry are eternal, and they are the 
sum total of man's craving wheresoever dispersed around the 
globe. May not the men in America, calling themselves Free 
Masons, learn a lesson demonstrated during the World War? 
All colors of soldiers in France have been welcomed with open 
arms by English and French brethren, who have clasped them 
to their warm hearts with glad tears of joy. Side by side and 
shoulder to shoulder, they have fought in the trenches, pan- 
ning out their mingled hearts' blood in order that color-hate 
and prejudice may be washed from the earth and the world 
made safe for Masonic Fraternity. Should men, such as these, 
suffer any rule of regulation to keep them from uniting in the 
bonds of brotherhood at the altar of Free Masonry? Can the 
white Mason let the colored Mason die for the same prin- 
ciples, and yet refuse to take him by the hand? If white 
men in North America, calling themselves Free Masons and 
practicing Masonry, cannot measure up to the highest ideals 
of brotherhood, then God help their Masonry, or their con- 
ception of what constitutes human justice. 

"Oh, I know full well how much white Masons here in 



$4 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

America pride themselves upon the rigidity, the eternal in- 
flexibility of what they are pleased to call time tried rules. 
How they boast that like the church of Rome, their institution 
never changes — is yesterday and tomorrow forever the same. 
But can they resist having their barrier broken, their rigid 
rules of exclusion burst asunder and carried away before the 
great progressive tide of human brotherhood that is now 
sweeping the world as never before in all its history. 

"It is well and good enough for us true colored Masons to 
be conservative, especially in resistance of evil, but when God 
sends into the world a flood of light, newer and greater visions, 
we colored Masons should present to it something more than 
slavish whims, trying to change hearts that have been turned 
to stone by hard rules, based upon color. This is a subject that 
the fellows of the Round Table should ponder. Think it over 
and then express yourselves. 

"Fraternally, 

"William Madison McDonald." 

REPORT ON FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE 

Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F. and A. M. of Texas. 
(By William Madison McDonald.) 

FOREWORD 

"God, Universe and Man. 

"We have had to contend with weighty and perplexing 
problems for the past sixteen months and this prevented us 
from rambling through the proceedings of sister Grand Lodges 
and handing down a report on what engaged the minds and 
attentions of members of the Round Table. But before we 
settle down to the work on the table before us, I should like 
to call the attention of the Knights of the Quill for a few 
minutes to the subject: God, Universe and Man. 

"To contemplate and study the God, the Universe and the 
Man or Mason, will be found not only interesting but profit- 
able to all who wish to become intelligent Masons. Now I am 
going to suggest that all intelligent Free Masons who under- 
stand our art, the fundamental teaching of the Order con- 
cludes that: 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 55 

"The Universe is either ETERNAL or has had a begin- 
ning. If it had a beginning, they know there must necessarily 
exist a BEING which caused the beginning. This is clear to 
common sense and to all intelligent Free Masons j for a thing 
that has had a beginning cannot be the cause of its own begin- 
ning, another being must have caused it. Free Masons hold 
that the Universe was therefore created by God. If the 
Universe is eternal it can in various ways be proven that apart 
from the things which constitute the Universe, there exists 
a being which is neither body nor a force in a body and which 
is one, eternal being not preceded by any cause and is immut- 
able. This being is God. Free Masons worship this God. 
Masons can demonstrate that nothing exists except God and the 
Universe. There is no other evidence of His existence but 
this Universe in its entirety and in its several parts. If there- 
fore, you wish to find God, examine the many parts of the Uni- 
verse. Study those properties of the Universe which are 
clearly perceived and know their visible form and their nature. 
Then the Free Mason or the truth seeker will find in the 
Universe evidence for the existnce of a being not included 
therein. That Being is God, the Soul of the Universe. 

A Parallel Between the Universe and Man. 

"Now in the first: We want you to know that the Universe 
in its entirety is nothing else but one individual being 5 we 
mean to say, the outermost heavenly sphere, together with all 
included therein is as regards individuality beyond all question 
a single being like Bros. Winn or McKinney. The variety 
of its substances of that sphere and all its component parts — 
is like the variety of the substances of a human being: just as 
for instance Winn or McKinney is one individual, consisting 
of various solid substances, such as flesh, bones, sinews or va- 
rious humanus and of various spiritual elements ; in like man- 
ner this sphere in its totality is composed of the celestial orbs, 
the four elements and their combinations - y there is no 
VACUUM whatever therein, but the whole space is filled up 
with matter. We know its centre is occupied by the earth. 
The earth is surrounded by water, air encompasses the water, 
fire envelopes the air and this again is enveloped by the Fifth 



56 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

substance, called QUINTESSENCE. These substances form 
numerous spheres, one being enclosed within another so that 
no intermediate empty space, no VACUUM is left. One 
sphere closely joins the other. All the other spheres revolve 
with constant uniformity without acceleration or retardation 3 
that is to say each sphere retains its individual nature as re- 
gards its velocity and the peculiarity of its motion; it does not 
move at one time quicker, at another time slower. Compared 
with each other, however, some of the spheres move with less, 
others with greater velocity." 

"The outermost all encompassing sphere revolves with the 
greatest speed ; it completes its revolution in one day and 
causes every thing to participate in its motion, just as every 
particle of a thing moves when the entire body is in motion; 
for all existing beings stand in the same relation to that sphere 
as a part of a thing stands to the whole. These spheres have 
not a common centre; the centres of some of them are identical 
with the center of the Universe, while those of the rest are 
different from it. Some of the spheres have a motion inde- 
pendent of that of the whole Universe constantly revolving 
from East to West, while other spheres move from West to 
East. This is one reason why Free Masons go from West to 
East and back from East to West again." 

"The stars contained in those spheres are part of their 
respective orbits; they are fixed in them and have no motion 
of their own but participating in the motion of the sphere 
of which they are a part they themselves appear to move. The 
entire substance of this revolving Fifth element is unlike the 
substance of those bodies which consist of the other four ele- 
ments and are enclosed by the Fifth element." 

The Spheres. 
"The number of these spheres encompassing the Universe 
cannot possibly be less than Eighteen; it may be even larger, 
but this is a matter for further investigation by Master Masons. 
It also remains an open question with Master Masons whether 
there are SPHERES which without moving round the Centre 
of the Universe have never-the-less a circular motion. Within 
that sphere which is the nearest to us a substance is contained 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 57 

which is different from the substance of the Fifth element; 
it first received Four primary forms and then became in 
those four forms, four kinds of matter: Earth, Water, Air 
and Fire. Each of the four elements occupies a certain posi- 
tion of its own assigned to it by nature; it is not found in 
another place, so long as no other but its own natural force 
acts upon it; it is a dead body; it has no life, no perception, no 
spontaneous motion and remains at rest in its natural place. 
When moved from its place by some external force it returns 
(towards )its natural force as soon as that force ceases to oper- 
ate. For the elements have the property of moving back to 
their place in a straight line, but they have no properties which 
would cause them to remain where they are or move other- 
wise than in a straight line just as all true Master Masons 
move." 

"The RECTILINEAR motions of these four elements when 
returning to their original places are of two kinds, either cen- 
trifugal (namely) the motion of the air and the fire; or cen- 
tripetal (namely) the motion of the earth and the water; and 
when the elements have reached their original place they 
remain at rest." 

"The spherical bodies, on the other hand, have life, possess a 
Soul by which they move spontaneously; they have no prop- 
erties by which they could at any time come to a state of rest, 
in their perpetual rotations they are not subject to any change 
except that of position. The question whether they are en- 
dowed with an intellect enabling them to comprehend, has not 
been solved by Master Masons and will not be without years 
of experience and deep research." 

"Through the constant revolution of the Fifth element with 
all contained therein, the Four elements are forced to move 
and to change their respective positions so that FIRE and AIR 
are driven into WATER and again these Three elements enter 
the dept hof the Earth. Thus are the elements mixed together; 
and when they return to their respective places, parts of the 
Earth in quitting their places move together with the 
WATER, the AIR and the FIRE. In this whole process, the 
elements act and react upon each other. The elements inter- 



58 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

mixed are then combined and form at first various kinds of 
vapors y afterwards the several kinds of minerals, every species 
of plants and many species of living beings or animals accord- 
ing to the relative proportion of the constituent parts. 

"All transient beings have their origin in the elements, into 
which again they resolve when their existence comes to an end. 
All Master Masons know that the body turns to the dust and 
the soul to the God who giveth." 

"The elements themselves are subject to being transformed 
from one into another ; fertile though one substance is com- 
mon to all, substance without form is in reality impossible 
just as the physical form of these transient beings cannot exist 
without substance. The formation and the dissolution of the 
elements, together with the things composed of them and 
resolving unto them follow each other in rotation. The 
changes of the finite substance in successively receiving one 
form after the other may therefore be compared to the revo- 
tion of the sphere in space when each part of the sphere period- 
ically reappears in the same position. This fact is attested in 
the appearance and reappearance of Halley's Comet. A 
learned Master Mason will say as the human body consists both 
of principal organs and of other members which depend on 
them and cannot exist without the control of those organs, so 
does the Universe consist both of principal parts (namely) 
the quintessence, which encompass the Four elements and other 
parts which are subordinated and require a leader (namely) 
the Four elements and the things composed of them." 

"Again the principal part in the human body, namely, the 
heart, is in constant motion and is the source of every motion 
noticed in the body; it rules over the other members and com- 
municates to them through its own pulsations the force re- 
quired for their functions. The outermost sphere by its mo- 
tion rules in a similar way over all other parts of the Universe 
and supplies all things with their special properties." 

"Every motion in the Universe has thus its origin in the 
motion of that sphere 3 and the soul of every animated being 
derives its origin from the soul of that same sphere. The 
forces which according to this explanation are communicated 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 59 

by the sphere to the sublunary world are four in number, to- 
wit: (1) The force which effects the mixture and the com- 
position of the elements and which undoubtedly suffices to 
form the minerals j (2) the force which supplies every grow- 
ing thing with its vegetative functions ; (3) that force which 
gives to each living being its vitality and (4) the force which 
endows rational beings with intellect. All this is effected 
through the action of light and darkness which are regulated 
by the position and the motion of the spheres around the 
Earth. Master Masons know when for one instant the beating 
of the heart is interrupted, man dies and all his motion and 
powers come to an end. We know in a like manner would 
the whole universe perish and everything therein cease to 
exist if the spheres were to come to a standstill. 

"The living being as such is one through the action of its 
heart, although some parts of the body are devoid of motion 
and sensation as for instance the bones, the cartilages and 
similar parts. We know the same is the case with the entire 
universe j although it includes many beings without motion and 
without life it is a single living being through the motion of 
the sphere which may be compared to the heart of an animated 
being. The wise craftsman must therefore, consider the en- 
tire globe as one individual being which is endowed with life 
motion and a Soul. This mode of considering the universe is 
as will be explained indispensable, that is to say it is very useful 
for proving the unity of God; it also helps to elucidate the 
principle that He who is One has created only ONE BEING. 
It is not hardly necessary to here state that it is impossible that 
any other members of a human body should exist by them- 
selves not connected with the body and at the same time should 
actually be organic parts of that body, that is to say, that the 
liver should exist by itself, the heart by itself, or the flesh 
by itself. In like manner it is impossible that one part of the 
Universe should exist independently of the other parts in the 
existing order of things as here considered, namely: that FIRE 
should exist without the co-existence of the Earth or the Earth 
without the Heaven or the Heaven without the Earth. 

"We know in man that there is a certain force which unites 



60 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the members of the body, controls them and gives to each of 
them what it requires for conservation of its condition and for 
the repulsion of injury — the physicians distinctly call it the 
leading force in the body of living being; sometimes they call 
it NATURE. 

"The Universe likewise possesses a force which unites the 
several parts with each other, protects the species from de- 
struction, maintains the individuals of each species as long as 
possible and endows some individual beings with permanent 
existence. Whether this force operates through the medium 
of the spheres or otherwise remains an open question for future 
worthy and wise craftsmen to solve. 

"In the body of each individual there are parts which are 
intended for certain purposes as the organs of nutrition for the 
preservation of the individual, the organs of GENERATION 
for the preservation of the species, the hands and eyes for ad- 
ministering to certain wants as to food, etc.; there are also 
parts which in themselves are not intended for any purpose 
but are mere accessories and adjuncts to the constitution of the 
other parts. The peculiar constitution of the organs indis- 
pensable for the conservation of their particular forms and for 
the performance of their primary functions produces whilst it 
serves its special purpose according to the nature of the sub- 
stance other things such as the Hair and the COMPLEXION 
of the body. Being mere accessories they are not formed ac- 
cording to a fixed rule; some are altogether absent in many 
individuals; and vary considerably in others. This is not the 
case with the organs of the body. You never find a normal 
person with a liver ten times larger than that of another normal 
person, but you may find a person without a beard or without 
hair on certain parts of his body or with a beard ten times 
longer than that of another man or person. Instances of this 
phenomenon, namely: great variations as regards Hair and 
color are not rare. 

Man Like the Universe. 

"The same diffierences occur in the constitution of the Uni- 
verse. Some species exist as an integral part of the whole sys- 
tem; these are constant and follow a fixed law; though they 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 61 

vary as far as their nature permits, this variation is insignificant 
in quantity and quality. Other species do not serve any pur- 
pose 5 they are the mere results of the general nature of tran- 
sient things as for instance, the various INSECTS which are 
generated in dunghills, the animals generated in rotten fruit 
or in fetid liquids and worms generated in the intestines, etc. 
In short everything devoid of the power of generation belongs 
to this class. The investigator will therefore, find that these 
things do not follow a fixed law, although their entire absence 
is just as impossible as the absence of different complexions and 
different kinds of hair amongst human beings. 

"In man there are substances the individual existence of 
which is permanent and there are other substances which are 
only constant in the species, not in the individuals, as for in- 
stance, the Four humus. The same is the case of the Uni- 
verse j there are substances which are constant in individuals 
such as the Fifth element which is constant in all its formations 
and other substances which are constant in the species as for 
instance, the Four elements and all that is composed of them. 
The same forces which operate in the birth and the temporal 
existence of the human being operate also in his DESTRUC- 
TION and DEATH. This truth holds good with regard to 
this whole transient world. The causes of production are at 
the same time the causes of destruction. This may be illus- 
trated by the following example. If the four forces which are 
present in every being sustained by food, namely, attraction, 
retention, digestion and secretion, were, like intelligent forces 
able to confine themselves to what is necessary and to act at 
the proper time and within the proper limits, man would be 
exempt from those great sufferings and the numerous diseases 
to which he is exposed. Since, however, such is not the case 
and since the forces perform their natural functions without 
thought and intelligence, without any consciousness of their 
action, they necessarily cause dangerous maladies and great 
pains although they are the direct causes of the birth and the 
temporal existence of the human being. This fact is to be 
explained as follows: if the attractive force would absorb 
nothing but that which is absolutely beneficial and nothing but 



62 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the quantity which is required, man would be free from many 
such sufferings and discords. But such is not the case; the 
attractive force absorbs any humus be it ill adopted in quality 
or in quantity. It is therefore natural that sometimes a humus 
is absorbed which is too warm, too cold, too thick or too thin 
or that too much humus is absorbed and thus the veins are 
choked, obstruction and decay ensue, the quality of the humus 
is deteriorated, its quantities altered, diseases are originated 
such as scurvy, leprosy, abscess or a dangerous illness such as 
cancer, elephantiasis, gangrene, consumption and at last the 
organ or organs are destroyed. The same is the case with every 
one of the four forces and with all existing beings. The same 
force that originates for a certain time, namely, — the combina- 
tion of the elements which are moved and penetrated by the 
forces of the heavenly spheres, the same cause becomes 
throughout the world a source of calamities such as devastating 
rain, showers, snowstorms, hail, hurricane, thunder, lightning 
malaria or other terrible catastrophies by which a place or 
many places or an entire Country may be laid waste such as 
landslide, earthquakes, meteoric showers and floods issuing 
forth from the seas and from the interior of the earth. Bear 
in mind, however, that in all that we have noticed about the 
similarity between the Universe and the human being, nothing 
would warrant us to assert that man is microcosm ; for al- 
though the comparison in all its parts applies to the Universe 
and any living being in its normal state, we never heard that 
any Ancient Free Mason called the mule or the horse a micro- 
cosm. This attribute has been given to man alone on account 
of his peculiar faculty of thinking, I mean the intellect that 
is the hylic intellect which appertains to no other living being. 
This may be explained as follows: 

"An animal does not require for its sustenance any plan, 
thought or scheme as far as we know; each animal moves and 
acts by its nature, eats as much as it can find of suitable things, 
it makes its resting place wherever it happens to be, cohabits 
with any mate it meets while in heat in the periods of its 
sexual excitement. In this manner each individual conserves 
itself for a certain time and perpetuates the existence of its 
spe'cies without requiring for its maintenance the assistance or 



MEMBER FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS 63 

support of any of its fellow creatures j for all the things to 
which it has to attend, it performs by itself unless otherwise 
trained by man. 

"With man it is different ; if an individual had a solitary 
existence and were like an animal left without guidance he 
would soon perish, he would not endure even one day unless 
it were by mere chance unless he happened to find something 
upon which he might feed. For the food which man requires 
for his subsistence demands much work and preparation which 
can only be accomplished by reflection and by plan ; many ves- 
sels must be used and many individuals each in his peculiar 
work must be employed. It is therefore, necessary that one 
person should organize the work and direct men in such 
manner that they should properly co-operate, and that they 
should assist each other. 

"The protection from heat in summer and from cold in 
winter and shelter from rain, snow and wind, require in the 
same manner the proportion of many things, none of which 
can properly be done without design and thought. For this 
reason man has been endowed with intellectual faculties which 
enable him to think, consider and act, and by various labors to 
prepare and procure for himself food, dwelling and clothing 
and to control every organ of his body causing both the prin- 
cipal and the secondary organs to perform their respective 
functions. Consequently if a man being deprived of his in- 
tellectual faculties only possessed vitality he would in a short 
time be lost. 

"The intellect is the highest of all faculties of living crea- 
tures; it is very difficult to comprehend and its true character 
cannot be understood as easily as man's other faculties. 

"There also exists in the Universe a certain force which 
controls the whole, which sets in motion the chief and prin- 
cipal parts and gives them the motive power of governing the 
rest. Without that force the existence of this sphere with its 
principal and secundary parts, would be impossible. It is the 
source of existence of the Universe in all its parts. That force 
is God. It is on account of this force that man is called micro- 
cosm, for he likewise possesses a certain principal which governs 



64 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

all the forces of the body and on account of this comparison 
God is called the life of the Universe. Let us now for a 
while turn our attention to the proceedings or 'Acts' of the 
different Grand Lodges." 

The Masons of Texas and in many other parts of the 
country have looked upon Mr. McDonald for the past 
twenty-five years as the Moses of fraternal matters. He 
has had correspondence with members of the order, local 
lodges and Grand Lodges, in all sections of the civilized 
world. I would love to give more of his wholesome 
advice to members of the Craft ; but you may think me 
prolix, were I to thus burden you. His star in the Mas- 
onic world has reached its zenith. In its ascent, thou- 
sands have been charmed by its lustre. He has fought 
the battles of the Masons upon their broad and human- 
itarian principles. He has stood by them in success and 
failure. Never once has he betrayed the trust placed 
in him. They gave him an opportunity and by the dint 
of his genius he has guided their destiny to heights un- 
dreamed of even by the most ambitious. At present Mr. 
McDonald is supervising the construction of one of the 
most beautiful mosques in the country. When this 
temple, covering three acres and costing one hundred 
thousand dollars, is completed, the Masons of Texas will 
have one of the most magnificent buildings in the coun- 
try. For some months this edifice has been the dream 
of the Grand Secretary's life and will stand as proof 
of the result of combined effort on the part of my 
people. 




Prof. H. G. Goree 

Grand Master, Odd Fellows of Texas — Close Friend 



CHAPTER VI 

An Odd Fellow. 1886. 

In 1886 Mr. McDonald joined "The Denison 
Lodge" No. 1996, at Denison, Texas. This is one 
of the many lodges of the "Grand United Order of 
Odd Fellows in the State of Texas." It is not my pur- 
pose to give the history of this grand old order; but 
in passing I must say that the Odd Fellows, under the 
wise leadership of District Grand Master H. G. Goree 
and J. H. Riddle, secretary endowment, have erected 
monuments in the souls of men not to be effaced by the 
march of time. 

Soon after Mr. McDonald moved to Fort Worth he 
transferred his membership to H. C. Bell Lodge No. 
9536. This O. F. Lodge is one of the largest in the 
state and is looked after by one of the most consecrated 
N. G., the Hon. C. N. George, in the commonwealth 
of Texas. Your humble servant has the honor to be 
a member of this lodge. 

According to an ancient custom, the Odd Fellows, 
as do most secret orders, have an annual sermon preached 
to them by some eminent divine. A religious program 
is carried out and some member of the craft delivers 
an oration on the occasion. As a rule the exercises are 
held in the largest church in the community. In Fort 
Worth, some of the long coat fellows, who are very 
loquacious on things not religious, especially money, 
objected in 1915 to the rendering of the Odd Fellows' 

65 



66 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

program in the people's (not preachers') churches. It 
so happened that at that time Wm. M. McDonald was 
the orator of the day. A very large number of men 
and women, boys and girls was present. Odd Fellows 
and Ruthites, in their immaculate regalia, formed a 
most interesting foreground for the thousands that 
filled up the rear of the spacious auditorium of the 
"Greater St. James Baptist Church," of which Dr. J. 
H. Winn, a Christian leader, is pastor. Men and 
women were there from all sections of the state. A 
splendid program had been rendered. Enthusiasm ran 
high. A scholarly introduction of the orator was given 
The master of ceremonies rapped his gavel ; the audience 
arose, saluted and then sat down to listen to the man 
who for twenty-five years had held spellbound huge 
assemblies in every section of the country. 

Mr. McDonald was at his best and spoke as follows: 
ODD FELLOW HISTORY TRADITIONS OF RUTH 



Odd Fellow History Traditions of Ruth Make Up the 
Blistering, Burning Eloquence Which Featured the 
Day of Fraternal Thanksgiving at Fort Worth, 
May 9, 1915. 



Three Ages of Odd Fellowship Reviewed in a Manner 
to Impress the Thought and Increase the Respect 
of the World for the Noble Order — A Grand Pan- 
orama From Adam to Christ — From Christ Until 
the Present Day as It Were Painted on Living 
Canvas. 



He Pays His Respects to the Lodge Fighting Preacher 
— Warns the Slanderer and Encourages the Valor 
Among Men and the Modesty Among Women Which 
'Serve to Refine and Enoble Humanity. 



AN ODD FELLOW 67 

"Brother Odd Fellows, Sister Ruths, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

"I have been designated to represent H. C. Bell Lodge No. 
9536, on this occasion. It is needless for me to state that I 
am profoundly gratified on being selected and honored by this 
splendid and magnificent Society to represent it here today, 
and I shall try in a feeble way to review the evolution of Odd 
Fellowship, coupled with its fruits — Friendship, Love and 
Truth, since the beginning of time. 

'Now my friends go along with me, 
Away back to Eternity; 
Go back beyond the days of youth; 
Where everything that was, was Truth. 

Beyond the sorrow and the tears. 
Beyond the suffering and fears; 
Beyond the anguish and the gloom, 
Beyond the shadow of the tomb. 

Beyond all trouble and all fain, 
Beyond all losses and all gain, 
Beyond all sobs and bitter sighs; 
Beyond the limit of the skies. 

Before there was a ray of light, 
Before there was a day or night; 
Before a prayer was ever frayed, 
Before the world was ever made. 

Before there was a moon or sun, 
Before old time itself begun; 
Before there was a now or then, 
Before there was a where or when. 

Before there was a here or there, 

Or anything or anywhere ; 

Go back a hundred thousand years, 

And further still though filled with fears. 



68 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

« 

Go back until within the fast, 
You fail to find the flace at last; 
Where the beginning you can see, 
At one end of Eternity. 

Go back until there is not a trace, 
Of anything but God and space; 
God all around, below, above. 
Unlimited in power and Love. 

Away back here removed from sight, 
Where everything that was, was right; 
Away back here removed from sin, 
Is where our story does begin? 

"Odd Fellowship divided the world into three great epochs, 
or ages. The first we shall call Adamic. The second we 
shall call Noahic. The third age we shall call, Christianic. 

"Now, my friends, let us consider each of these epochs or 
ages in order named — just for a few moments and let us try 
to bring out of each age or epoch divine principles and compare 
them with other institutions or co-operate bodies claiming to 
have been divinely organized and in this way we can find 
the effect of Odd Fellowship upon mankind in all ages. 

The Adamic Age. 

"The Holy Bible tells us that in the beginning God created 
the heavens and the earth. He dug out the great oceans, gave 
course to the mighty rushing, rowing rivers. He arranged and 
formed the gigantic and lofty mountain systems and brought 
forth valley and dale. He carpeted the earth with a beautiful 
green and decked the mountains, hills and valleys with sweet 
smelling flowers of every variety. He lastly formed man out 
of the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath 
of life and he became a living Odd Fellow. This man God 
called Adam. Out of all the teeming millions created, none 
was like Adam. He was odd, so different and so unlike any 
other thing created in the world, until we put him down as 
the first Odd Fellow in the world without fear of successful 



AN ODD FELLOW 69 

contradiction. Eve was next made out of a rib taken from 
Adam, so the story goes, and her intelligence, her curiosity, her 
disposition, her form, her beauty and her modesty stamped 
her at once as the first Ruthite in the world. Now, my friends, 
don't forget that Adam, the first Odd Fellow, and Eve, the 
first Ruthite, were the pillars upon which mankind erected the 
mighty structure of Friendship, Love and Truth. 

"God Himself instituted, formed and fashioned Odd Fel- 
lowship and the Adamic age is the first epoch in which we get 
lessons in Friendship. I am not going to burden or tax your 
patience with a long review of the acts of Adam and Eve 
which took place in the Garden of Eden. You all know the 
story of Eden. You all know how an evil spirit, called a ser- 
pent, or a snake, or the devil, came into the life of Eve one 
day when Adam was not present. Now he all but called God 
a lie, and told her that the fruit she had been forbidden to 
eat was the best in the garden, and if she wanted to know good 
from evil, all she had to do was to taste of it. Eve partook 
of the fruit, ate and got Adam to eat. Immediately their eyes 
opened, they discovered that they were naked and at once 
ran to the back of the garden and here for the first time in 
the history of the world we find Adam and Eve making Odd 
Fellow aprons. 

"In the Garden of Eden there was no need for such pro- 
found and grand sentiments as Friendship, Love and Truth. 
In Genesis, as the story goes, God came and drove Adam and 
Eve out of the garden and then for the first time in the history 
of their lives did they feel, realize and need the benefits, com- 
forts and consolation of Friendship, Love and of Truth. 

'Disease and sickness, grief and fain, 
Shadow and sorrow, drouth and rain, 
Discord and murder, every sin, 
Were by this act ushered in? 

"The age that we now have under review extends from 
Adam to Noah. God in His divine plan caused a long line 
of Odd Fellows to stand out as beacon lights to guide mankind 



70 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

in his struggles to regain his lost perfection. Enoch was a 
grand old Odd Fellow. He was so different from others, so 
unique and so perfect that it is said that he walked and talked 
with God and it does appear that the scriptures (Gen. 5:24) 
confirms those who claim that Enoch was bodily taken to 
heaven. The Adamic age is filled with a grand and glorious 
development of Odd Fellowship and out of this age more 
than any other was developed and evolved the first funda- 
mental necessity of Friendship from man to man. This fact 
was beautifully drawn out and illustrated when God asked 
Cain where was his Brother Abel (Gen. 4:9), and Cain an- 
swered, "Am I my brother's keeper?" 

The Noahic Age. 

"This epoch of Odd Fellowship extended from Noah to 
Christ. Odd Fellows and Ruthites in this age of the world 
devoted themselves to doing those things which would develop 
and bring out of mankind a reason for love. Old Noah 
himself was an Odd Fellow and God used him to foster and 
perpetuate both Friendship and Love. Noah was such an Odd 
Fellow, such a noble character, so patient and good until we 
find God using him to build an Ark to preserve life on this old 
sin-cursed earth. A man void of Friendship and Love could 
never have been selected by the Grand Master of us all to 
preserve the seed of mankind on this earth and populate the 
world. From Noah to Christ Odd Fellows were struggling 
to impress upon the hearts, minds and consciences of all men 
the benefits and wonderful necessity of Friendship and Love. 
As the Adamic age developed and taught the necessity of 
Friendship so did the Noahic Age develop, evolve and teach 
the untold need of Love. Time will not permit me to discuss 
the many great characters that represented Odd Fellowship 
from the days of Noah to the coming of Christ. You all 
know the story of the Ark and the Flood. You know the story 
of Ham, Shem and Japheth. These strange and wonderful 
stories connected with the life and Odd Fellowship of these 
grand characters, pale into utter insignificance when compared 
with other Odd Fellows who lived in the Noahic Age. 
• "Abraham was the greatest Odd Fellow of his day. He is 



AN ODD FELLOW 71 

the first to erect an altar and to enter into a covenant or an 
obligation with God to do what he could to foster the prin- 
ciples of Friendship and Love. He was so steadfast in his 
obligation until God, through him, blessed all the nations of 
the earth. No man who may be called a student of history 
will deny the fact that Abraham developed Odd Fellowship 
in a greater degree than any man of his day. It is not neces- 
sary for me to point out all the great and splendid men who 
stood for and developed the God-given principles of Friend- 
ship, Love and Truth during this age of the world's history; 
but Odd Fellows of this age had grandly and royally prepared 
mankind for the reception of the Christianic Age and in that 
age to do greater things than had ever been done before in the 
name of Friendship, Love and Truth. 

Christianic Age. 
"The Christianic Age brought in the happy and glorious con- 
summation of the divine principles: Friendship, Love and 
Truth. The Adamic Age impressed upon mankind the burn- 
ing necessity of Friendship. The Noahic Age taught the 
necessity of Love, and the coming of Christ, and His teaching 
gave us the Truth. 

'Christ came from above. 
On a mission of love; 
Of mercy and kindness and peace; 
The sick He did heal, 
And His Power did reveal. 
And His Kingdom on earth did increase. 

The lame He made walk. 

And the dumb He made talk; 

The blind were enabled to see; 

The lepers were healed. 

And He walked on the waves of the sea. 

The dead had been raised, 

And Jesus was praised; 

Because of the deeds He had done; 

And God who is love, 

Gave Him power from above, 

For He and His Father are One. } 



72 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"One might ask, Was Christ an Odd Fellow? I answer, yes, 
He was the personification of Friendship, Love and Truth. 
Every man who possesses in his bosom these principles in 
Odd Fellowship, you might ask of what Lodge he was a mem- 
ber, and did he organize an Odd Fellow Lodge? I answer 
your question by asking, did He belong to any church and 
what church did He organize? 

"Now, my friends, ladies and gentlemen, do not misunder- 
stand me, I do not mean that Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham 
or Christ ever organized an Odd Fellow Lodge as we have 
them today. I am going to be candid with you, I am not 
going to try to mislead you or deceive you; neither must you 
understand that they ever organized a church as we have 
them today. 

"I have as much right to stand here today and announce that 
God organized the great secret fraternities of this sin-cursed 
world as we have them today, as any clergyman would have 
to stand up here and say Christ organized a church as we have 
it today. Secret societies were and are organized by men 
taking certain fundamental principles, as the base with fixed 
material, universal purposes and objects. There are many 
different secret fraternities. These secret fraternities differ 
only in signs and grips. 

"Churches Were and are organized by men taking certain 
creeds and beliefs, as the base with fixed spiritual universal 
purposes and objects. There are many different churches and 
they differ not only in mode of entrance, but in creeds or 
beliefs and are constantly at war one with the other, with re- 
spect to purposes and objects. Secret fraternities are not at 
war with one another. No man can become an Odd Fellow, 
unless he is a Christian. No man can become a member of 
a church unless he claims to be a Christian. Note the differ- 
ence — one must be a Christian, the other can claim to be a 
Christian. Now, this being so, it is in order to find out who 
and what are Christians? Christ was a Christian. He said, 
"I did not come to destroy any laws but to do the will of my 
Father." The will of His Father was to teach Friendship, 
Love and Truth, true Odd Fellowship. He laid down and 



AN ODD FELLOW 73 

taught the doctrine that, the whole world is my country, to 
do good is my religion, and upon this immovable Rock of 
Friendship, Love and Truth He ordered His church, Lodge, 
Fraternity or Society built. Christ did religion. Odd Fel- 
lows, like Christ, do religion. 

"I have shown that through the Odd Fellowship of Adam, 
Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham that God wove in the nature 
of mankind and his entire organism the principles of Friend- 
ship and Love and sent Jesus Christ into the world to impress 
on the hearts and minds of men not only Friendship and Love, 
but the eternal Truth, which He did by His works, and He 
said somewhere in His Holy Book, "By their works ye shall 
know them." 

i In the beauties of the lilies, 

A Christ was born across the sea; 
With a glory in his bosom. 

That transfigured you and me. 
As he died to make men happy. 

Let Odd Fellows and Rut hit es 
Labor to have men and women 

Practice Friendship, Love and Truth? 

"The question arises, what was the religion of those grand 
and splendid men before Christ came? I answer: to do good, 
to work and foster among all creation Friendship, Love and 
Truth, to visit the sick, to help the needy, to drive gaunt want 
from the door of widow and orphan who are left in this cold 
and heartless world, often without protection. This was true 
religion before Christ came and when Christ came He did not 
destroy this grand old religion, but He vitalized and em- 
phasized it in all of his life's work. Read his sermon on Mt. 
of Olives -, read His admonition to His followers just before 
and after His death; read in James a true definition of what 
constitutes the Christian religion, then compare the religion 
of the present day churches with that of the present day secret 
fraternities and then judge which is most in accord with the 
religion of Christ. 

"All churches were organized by man. All fraternities were 



74 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

organized by man. The Catholic church was the first church 
organized in co-operative form. St. Peter was its first Pope. 
The first Baptist church was organized, it is thought, in a co- 
operative body, A. D. 1609, in Amsterdam, Holland, by 
Zwingli. Roger Williams organized the first Baptist church 
in America, 1639. John Wesley was not converted until 
March 24, A. D., 1 734, and the Methodist church was organ- 
ized in America, A. D. 1766, when a few pious emigrants 
from Ireland introduced this organization in New York. 

"CtSurch is first mentioned in Matthew the sixteenth chapter, 
eighteenth verse, and next in Acts, but it does not become a 
living ideality with elders and laity, holding councils and mak- 
ing decisions upon points of doctrine and practice until Paul 
writes Acts sixteenth chapter, fourth to twenty-second verse. 
I call attention to these facts to show that the co-operate 
church, as well as the co-operate fraternity, were organized 
by man. 

"The Odd Fellow Fraternity took its form or organization 
as we have it today, A. D., 1 843, but the tenets of Odd Fel- 
lowship came down to us from the days of Adam, Enoch, 
Noah and Abraham. So far as Negro Odd Fellows are con- 
cerned, we do not feel it necessary to trace our beginning. We 
are only too glad to set our connection with this Grand Old 
Fraternity from the time, 1843, when Peter Ogden and his 
noble associates banded together to practice Odd Fellowship. 
Since their day Odd Fellowship here in Texas has had such 
grand and splendid men as Abner, Ferguson, Bell, Goree, 
Jackson, Nelson, Riddle, Starks and thousands of others to 
lead it up to its present great achievements. We can boast, 
if boasting is a virtue, of more than 15,000 hearty and jolly 
Odd Fellows and more than 5,000 virtuous, lovely and loyal 
Ruths in Texas — and my friends, these came from the ranks 
of our best citizens. Truly our structure in Texas and all 
America is built upon a rock and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against us. 

"Each Odd Fellow of today is firm in the thought that the 
God-given principles: Friendship, Love and Truth, will finally 
cover this world. Why do Brother Odd Fellows and Sister 



AN ODD FELLOW 75 

Ruths believe this? I answer: because we practice what we 
preach and preach what we practice. Odd Fellows and Ruths 
have no quarrel with Masons and Heroines, with Pythians 
and Calanthians, with U. B. F. and S. M. T., with Sir Knights 
and Daughters of Tabor, or for that matter, with any secret 
society. The only rivalry among secret fraternities is friendly 
and that rivalry is to show who can best serve for the uplift 
of suffering humanity. 

"We often find here and yonder a few gentlemen of the 
cloth who seek cheap notoriety by attacking secret fraternities 
from their pulpits. Nine out of ten of these men have been 
suspended or dropped from the roll of some lodge for the 
non-payment of dues. They adopt this low and ignoble 
method of attacking the lodges in order to get their names 
between the putrid lips of rumor. They are so ignorant that 
they imagine these attacks make them great. He knows his 
soul is slimy with hypocrisy and malice nestling in the bosom 
of envy, hate lurking in the heart of jealousy finds slander 
a convenient tool to send forth to stain and blacken the reputa- 
tion, purposes and objects of Odd Fellowship or fraternalism. 
Thanks to God, secret societies do not fear this class of clergy- 
men. We do not hate them. All of us contribute to their sup- 
port and we pity them. These gentlemen of the cloth should 
remember the record of the church and they should remember 
that no secret society has ever been the cause of a man or 
woman standing upon forign shores an exile looking with 
tearfilled eyes towards home and native land. Odd Fellow- 
ship has never plucked the nails from the fingers of men and 
women and into their bleeding quick thrust needles. Odd 
Fellowship has never stood men or women upon the sands of 
the sea and there allowed them to drown by the irresistible 
tide. Odd Fellowship has never put men and women in 
dungeons and kept them waiting for footsteps of relief which 
never came. Odd Fellowship has never stood men and women 
upon the scaffold and caused the glittering axe to fall upon 
their necks. Odd Fellowship has never taken a man from his 
wife and children to the public square where faggots were piled 
around him and the flames climbed around his limbs and 
scorched his eyes to blindness. Odd Fellowship has never 



76 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

burned a man and then scattered his ashes by hands of hatred 
to the four corners of the earth. Hence I say that while I 
live I shalj do what little I can to foster and perpetuate Odd 
Fellowship on this earth. 

"I firmly believe that Friendship, Love and Truth will 
finally cover the world, regardless of what hypocritical men 
wrapped in robes of innocence may say. I defy them, and if I 
had words in my vocabulary of speech out of which I could 
construct sentences that would hiss, bite and sting, I could 
then in a remote degree express my boundless contempt for 
a man or a set of men who is willing to exact the last penny 
from a widow and an orphan and then deny them the right 
to organize under the divine principles of Friendship, Love 
and Truth, to watch the bedside of a sick member j maintain 
him or her when disabled to follow their usual vocation, sus- 
tain and cheer the widow or orphan oftimes left in this cold 
and heartless world without other protection. I want to go 
on record as saying, I want it written upon your hearts as with 
a pen of iron that there is no house, church or what not, too 
sacred for Odd Fellows and Ruths to meet in and teach Odd 
Fellowship and practice the sentiments of Friendship, Love 
and Truth. 

"I have said and say again, no house or church can be so 
sacred but that if Friendship, Love and Truth are taught and 
practiced between its walls, but that it will be made more 
sacred still. 

"Strike with hand of fire, oh, weird musicians, thy harp 
strung with Apollo's golden hair, fill the vast cathedral aisles 
with symphonies sweet and dim, deft toucher of the organ 
keys, blow bugler blow, until the silver notes do touch the 
skies with moonlit waves and charm the lovers wandering 
on vine clad hills, but know your sweetest strains are discord 
all compared with Friendship, Love and Truth. The Friend- 
ship, Love and Truth that fills the eyes with light and every 
heart with joy. Oh, rushing, rippling river of Friendship, 
thou art the blessed boundary-line between man and beast 
and every wayward wave of thine doth drown some fiend of 
care; oh, Friendship, Love and Truth divine, daughter of joy, 



AN ODD FELLOW 77 

make dimples enough in the cheeks of this old world to catch 
and hold and glorify all the tears of grief. 

"Now, my friends, I wish to state that now and then some 
Odd Fellow examnies into things and in spite of all, keeps 
up his manhood and his courage to follow where his reason 
leads. Then the pious get together and repeat wise sayings 
and exchange knowing nods and most prophetic winks. The 
stupidly wise sit owl-like on the dead limbs of the tree of 
knowledge and solemnly hoot. Wealth sneers and fashion 
laughs, respectability passes on the other side and scorn points 
with all her skinny fingers and like the snakes of superstition 
writhe and hiss, and slander lends her tongue and infamy her 
brand, perjury her oath and the church its power and a certain 
class of lodge fighting preachers their eloquence, to destroy 
the influences of secret societies in this land and country, but 
Odd Fellowship will triumph over all these agencies. 

"Through all the centuries gone, secret fraternities have 
been beleaguered by the mailed hosts of ignorance and super- 
stition. Slowly and painfully has advanced our now mighty 
army of secret societies; hated by those they wish to rescue, 
despised by those they could do the most good for, our splen- 
did army has fought a good fight and have seen to it that 
the roses of Love and the violets of modesty are not trampled 
beneath the brutal feet of man." 

For the past fifteen years I have read every speech 
that I could find, delivered by Mr. McDonald. In my 
opinion, the Odd Fellow address, delivered May 8, 
1915, is his masterpiece. There are others equally as 
eloquent, but, taking into consideration the results, the 
good done, the effect upon the audience, I think he 
was more fluent on this occasion than at any other time. 

New members were initiated in the order. Men and 
women understood the true principles of Odd Fellow- 
ship as never before. Those preachers who had objected 
to fraternal orzanizaitons having their programs in 
churches were converted. Most of them joined the 



78 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

order. The Gospel of right living and right dealing 
with all mankind caused many to forsake the old way. 
Today any church in the city is glad to throw open its 
doors, not only to Odd Fellows, but to any of the worthy 
orders. Peace and happiness, good will and kindness 
are found more abundant. Good reader, to see and feel 
the speceh as I do, you should have heard its deliverance. 

In 1886 Mr. McDonald joined the Knights of Pyth- 
ias. He was initiated by Damon Lodge No. 22, now 
Key West Lodge, located in Fort Worth. 

The K. of P. order is one of the modern fraternities, 
with fundamental principles as true to the teachings of 
the Bible as are the tenets of the more ancient orders. 
From reports of secretaries and statistics it is evident 
that in the last twenty-five years the Knights of Pythias 
have made a most wonderful and rapid advancement 
in the State of Texas. 

Under the prudent leadership of Mr. W. S. Willis, 
the Grand Chancellor, the K. of P. order has added 
materially to the development of Negro enterprise. 

Mr. McDonald joined the Seven Stars of Consolida- 
tion in 1882, the Masons in 1886, the Odd Fellows in 
1886, the Knights of Pythias in 1886; thus showing his 
faith in secret fraternities, at the tender age of twenty. 
In each organization he has played a very conspicuous 
part. With a natural love for the principles of the 
Masons, he has accomplished more for them than for 
any other society. He has written and revised their 
constitution. He has had enacted laws which the flight 
of time has shown were beneficial. He has rendered 
decisions which have been the guiding rules in the ad- 
ministration of Masonic affairs. He has conserved the 



AN ODD FELLOW 79 

resources of his most cherished fraternity and in addi- 
tion to burying the dead and caring for the orphans, has 
had erected temples, which will go down to posterity 
as the Pyramids of Egypt have come down to us. He 
has written by acts and deeds indelibly, his epitaph in 
the hearts of men and women. He has ever held aloft 
the principles of the order; and when the venerable 
shade of time shall linger for the last moment upon his 
now aging brow and in the twinkling of an eye his big 
soul shall salute the Grand Master of the Universe, 
there will be sung a new chorus to the new born saint. 




Dave Abner, A. B. 

Builder of Odd Fellows in Texas — Personal Friend 



CHAPTER VII 

General Superintendent and President. 1887. 

In 1887 "The Texas Colored State Fair Association" 
was organized by Wm. M. McDonald, B. P. Johnson, 
J. D. Johnson, Rev. T. W. Wilburn, S. W. Woodard, 
John W. Milledge, Z. C. Brooks, with a capital stock 
of $25,000.00. The company was chartered by the 
state and began to do business under very favorable cir- 
cumstances and conditions. McDonald was the prime 
factor in this movement, and gathered around himself 
the ablest and most influential men of his race and state. 
Although greatly interested in his favorite fraternal 
order at that time, and being its supreme grand officer, 
he still found ample time to properly organize and bring 
together thousands of colored people in their first an- 
nual fair. 

Because of his superior intellectual training, his activ- 
ity in organizing the colored folks, and the part he had 
played in bringing into existence the above company, 
McDonald was made general superintendent and pres- 
ident by the stockholders. Again the right man was in 
the right place. A natural born leader of men, he went 
forth to tell his colored brethren of the importance of 
the fair. They saw and heard him. 

The farmers of the state sent their products. School 
children in all sections sent their works of art. Ladies 
vied with each other in the culinary as well as the sewing 
art. Men and women in all parts of the state were 

81 



82 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

aroused to the importance of the Fair. They saw the 
good to be accomplished as well as realized the splendid 
opportunity to learn what colored people were doing 
and could do. Both young and old of our race and from 
all walks of life were greatly interested in the Fair. A 
Moses had met and talked to them and they were willing 
to be led. I doubt if the colored citizens of Texas had 
ever before, or since, been so much interested in any gen- 
eral movement, outside of religious inclinations, as they 
were in their State Fair. This was due to the unques- 
tioned intentions and remarkable aptitude of the gen- 
eral superintendent, William McDonald. 

Not only were the colored folks interested, but many 
of the whites, to the extent that not a few willingly con- 
tributed for its promotion. 

Fort Worth City was chosen as the location for the 
fair. A better place could not have been found in all 
Texas. A great railroad town, in a thriving farming 
section, surrounded by many beautiful hills and level 
plains, with its thousands of colored and white citizens 
whose hospitality is known far and near; indeed, the 
Panther City was the logical place for the initiation of 
this great movement. 

Articles of all description were sent for exhibition. 
All were in readiness. Indeed, the meeting of the asso- 
ciation had been so well advertised and there was so 
much interest that one Fort Worth banker, thirty days 
before the fair opened, offered $15,000.00 for the gate 
receipts and other ground privileges. 

The fair opened October 15. Two days before the 
opening day it began to rain and continued for five days. 
Nevertheless, excursion trains came from all directions 



GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT AND PRESIDENT 83 

and Fort Worth had the largest number of colored vis- 
itors in all of its history. 

It is worthy to note that at that time Texas had a col- 
ored state militia and it was present, acting as special 
escort to the officers of the fair and city officials. Pres- 
ident B. P. Johnson, of the association, gave orders for 
a grand march or parade through the principal streets 
to the fair grounds. In line were the fair officials in 
cabs, next came the city officials of Fort Worth, then 
the Texas Colored Militia, a band of music, then mili- 
tary companies, then many on horseback and many 
pedestrians, with four brass bands interspersed. All in 
all, it was one of the largest and most interesting parades 
ever witnessed in the Panther City. The splendid dis- 
play of the colored boys with their attractive uniforms 
won the admiration of the many thousands who crowded 
every available place on the line of march. 

The governor of Texas, Hon. S. L. Ross, opened the 
fair with a lengthy and very complimentary speech. He 
congratulated, in the highest terms, the officers of the 
fair, and paid a tribute to the members of the race for 
the splendid exhibits, and for the general good that was 
being done in the uplift of the state and country. 

The promoters of the fair certainly deserved success, 
for indeed it was a step in the right direction. Finan- 
cially, the fair was not a success; but it served to call 
attention, in many ways, to the advancement of the 
Negroes in the state of Texas. This was in 1887, only 
twenty-two years after the close of the Civil War. 

As far as I have been able to learn, this fair promoted 
by William McDonald, a young man of only twenty-one 
years of age at the time, was the first State Fair in the 



84 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Lone Star State. He deserves the hearty congratula- 
tions of an appreciative race for his early efforts in mak- 
ing it possible for the colored people of his state to 
demonstrate to the world their accomplishments along 
many lines. 

The fair did not bring the financial returns hoped 
for, but it did more. It showed the possibilities in the 
race. It attracted the attention of the entire state and 
advertised the Negro as never before. 

At the close of the fair in Fort Worth in 1 887, it was 
noised abroad that the officers of the association desired 
a permanent location for the fair. Dallas, Houston, 
Waco, Marshall and other cities made bids for the 
permanent location of the Colored State Fair. 

Dallas agreed to do all advertising, to furnish the 
grounds and to give 20 per cent of the gate receipts. 
Houston called a mass meeting, appointed a committee, 
headed by Captain A. Faulkner, general passenger and 
ticket agent of the H. & T. C. Railroad, and made a 
proposition to give $3,000.00 on the purchase price of 
a location near that city. Waco offered forty acres of 
land within three miles of the city. Marshall would 
not be outdone. The "Marshall Star," the leading daily 
paper of the city, gave its great influence for the per- 
manent location of this Colored Fair in that city. The 
good people of Marshall, both white and colored, were 
so much interested in the location of the fair in that 
city, that the mayor, Hon. J. H. Carter, called a mass 
meeting for the purpose of hearing and discussing the 
plans of Mr. McDonald in reference to the fair. 

Young McDonald was invited by the city officials to 
Marshall and made the special guest of the city that he 



GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT AND PRESIDENT 85 

might tell of the association. To be made the special 
guest of a city is an honor that has come to but few men 
of our race. I know of but one city in the common- 
wealth of Texas that has invited a colored man as its 
guest. 

Upon his arrival in Marshall, Mr. McDonald was 
met by Hon. P. F. Dennis, Jr., and escorted to the place 
of the mass meeting. After receiving an introduction 
to Mr. McDonald the mayor of Marshall, Hon. J. H. 
Carter, turned to the gentlemen present and used the 
following words: 

"Gentlemen, this is Mr. William M. McDonald, 
the general superintendent of the Texas Colored State 
Fair, who is in our city looking for a suitable location 
for their fair. Being as I am a Democrat, raised upon 
a Southern plantation, side by side with the race he 
represents, I for myself am desirous of fostering any 
enterprise that they may get up having a tendency to 
show their progress and advancement since their eman- 
cipation." 

It did not take the young orator, McDonald, over 
thirty minutes to cause his hearers to see the importance 
of the cause he represented, and as a result of his efforts 
a committee consisting of Mayor J. H. Carter, E. F. 
Fry and Van Hock was named with plenary power to 
make all arrangements with Mr. McDonald for the 
permanent location of the fair in Marshall. On the 
following day, at a special request from the chief exec- 
utive of the city, Mr. McDonald accompanied in an 
open top cab by the mayor and Mr. Dennis, took a 
geographical survey of the city. In a few days the 



86 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

city's committee was ready to make its report. This 
was done in writing as follows: 

"Office of City Mayor 

"Marshall, Texas, March 12, 1888. 
"To Wm. M. McDonald, General Superintendent, 
and Stockholders of 
The Texas Colored State Fair Association. 

"Gentlemen: 

"We, the committee appointed by the business men of this 
city to make negotiations, etc., to secure the permanent location 
of your fair, do herewith send your honorable body our bid. 
First of all, we wish you to carefully consider the advantages 
of Marshall over other places competing for your fair. If 
you accept our bid and locate the fair here in Harrison Coun- 
ty, it alone has a Negro citizenship to support the fair, under 
proper management. Besides, this county is in range of the 
Negro belt of our great state. Two hundred miles away to 
the East and it will land you in the State of Mississippi. Three 
hundred miles to the southeast and you can draw from New 
Orleans. Two hundred miles to the northeast and you have 
Little Rock, Arkansas. In whatever direction you may look 
towards are railroads, well disposed towards your people. You 
would have a free access by railroads from New Orleans, 
Vicksburg, Little Rock, Galveston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, 
Dallas, Denison and Sherman, without the change of cars 
with only an exception at Shreveport. Not one railroad runs 
into our city that would dare attempt to discriminate against 
your race. With this and the liberal donation we agree to 
give, the committee thinks that you would justify yourselves 
in accepting our bid. 

"We agree, on condition that you will permanently locate 
and maintain your fair in Marshall, Harrison County, State 
of Texas, for the term or extent of your charter; and give a 
fair every two years, to furnish you fifty acres of land free of 
all cost, on which to erect suitable buildings for a display of 
exhibits, etc., further to furnish you at the order of your pres- 
ident or general superintendent, $3,500.00 worth of lumber, 



GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT AND PRESIDENT 87 

and we agree to take such a part of the gate receipts from 
time to time until paid, as may be agreed to by this commit- 
tee and whoever your body may appoint for that purpose. 
Further, that we will assist in raising a supplimentary dona- 
tion throughout the city and county, if need be, the state. We 
will use every endeavor to secure from the railroads in Texas, 
Louisiana and Arkansas passes for your different agents whom 
you may or will employ to work up the exhibits. Further, that 
we will furnish in the popular business part of the city an 
office for your business and defray one-third of its expenses 
for the first year. 

"Hoping that this will meet your approbation and, if not, 
show that we are in deep sympathy with your movement and 
willing to offer some little encouragement 5 wishing you God 
speed and much success in your laudable enterprise for the 
elevation of your race 5 the maintenance of peace and good 
government, we are, 

"Respectfully, 
(Signed) E. F. Fry 

Van Hook 
J. H. Carter, Mayor 

Committee.** 

Young McDonald had put the Texas Colored State 
Fair Association on the map. The above letter was 
given him in person by the mayor of Marshall. The 
other larger cities sent bids in writing. With the bid of 
Marshall in his pocket, Mr. McDonald ' irted for Fort 
Worth. Upon his arrival he was met at the depot by 
the president of the association, B. P. Johnson. A meet- 
ing of the stockholders was called to hear the report 
of the general superintendent, Wm. M. McDonald. 
After all reports from the several cities were read and 
discussed pro and con a ballot vote was taken, with the 
following result: Dallas, 12 ; Waco, 8; Houston, 17, 
and Marshall, 20. 



88 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

When the result was known McDonald offered the 
following resolution: 

"To the President, Officers and Stockholders of the Texas 
Colored State Fair Association: 

"Whereas, after each proposition having been discussed pro 
and con; and whereas it is the judgment of the stockholders 
to accept the bid of Marshall and reject those of Dallas, Waco 
and Houston. Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Col- 
ored State Fair Association do permanently locate and main- 
tain their headquarters and all annual fair meetings in the City 
of Marshall, County of Harrison, and State of Texas, upon 
conditions expressed in their articles of bid. Further, that 
this association extend their thanks and best wishes to the 
committee at Marshall and all their citizens for their untiring 
efforts in securing a suitable location for our fair grounds. 

(Signed) "Wm. M. McDonald, 

"General Superintendent" 

The resolution was adopted and many thanks given 
the general superintendent for the splendid way he had 
handled the affairs of the association. After this Pres- 
ident Johnson ordered a meeting to be held in Marshall 
at which time all officers would be elected for the year 
ending April, 1889. Persuant to the call all stock- 
holders met at the court house in Marshall at 10 a. m., 
April 12. Hon. W. H. Pope, State Senator, in behalf 
of the City of Marshall, welcomed the stockholders. 

When the time came for the election of officers, Mr. 
P. F. Dennis, Jr., arose and in glowing terms told of the 
worth of their general superintendent, the young man 
from the Brazos bottoms, who, by his ability and genius, 
had attracted the entire Southwest in his efforts for the 
colored people of Texas. Without a dissenting vote 
young McDonald was elected president and general 
superintendent. Thus in 1888 the biggest office in the 



GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT AND PRESIDENT 89 

gift of the colored people of the state was given Mc- 
Donald because of the superior way he had handled 
the affairs of the association. 

After adopting a new charter and raising the capital 
stock from $25,000.00 to $50,000.00, and electing 
Z. C. Brooks vice president, Fort Worth, Texas; J. N. 
Gillett, secretary, Hearne, Texas; E. Hines, treasurer, 
Fort Worth, Texas; P. F. Dennis, Jr., chief commis- 
sioner, Marshall, Texas, and Rev. T. W. Wilburn, chief 
of installation, the association adjourned. 

The officers had but five months to prepare for the 
first Marshall Fair. But time is no drawback to men 
of ambition when lead by a master of men. In a few 
weeks a large grandstand was erected, several large 
buildings were completed and all was in readiness for 
the fall fair. Again Hon. L. S. Ross, governor of 
Texas, made the opening speech. Men, women and 
children were there from all parts of Texas, Arkansas 
and Mississippi. In fact, the entire Southwest was 
represented. 

The colored people of Texas were doing much good 
for themselves. They were producing and showing the 
results of their production to an expectant world. The 
people of one section were learning what those of an- 
other were doing. A great desire for art was getting 
into the hearts of our young people. Farmers were 
giving more attention to the cultivation of crops, the 
breeding of better livestock and the improvement of 
their farms. In short, our people were improving 
along all lines so that they might vie with each other at 
the State Fair. The educational benefits derived from 



90 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the fair were indeed almost beyond enumeration. By 
all means it should have been kept running. About this 
time, 1889, Mr. McDonald having been elected Su- 
preme Grand Chief of the Seven Stars of Consolidation 
of America, an order founded on wisdom, love and 
truth, and since this order demanded all of his time, he 
resigned as president and general superintendent of the 
Texas Colored State Fair Association. 



CHAPTER VIII 

1887. Home Life. Birth and Death of 
William Madison McDonald, Jr. 

From 1885 to 1889 Mr. McDonald was a very busy 
man. As the Grand Chief of the Seven Stars of Consol- 
idation and as the President and General Manager of 
the Texas Colored State Fair, much of his time was 
taken up; still he found time to select for himself a 
companion. His duties called him to many sections of 
the state and often he was called to other states on bus- 
iness for his order and the Fair Association. 

In the fall of 1887 he met Miss Alice C. Gibson, of 
Livingston, Alabama. She was a gifted young girl, 
possessing rare talents, having had advantage of several 
of the best schools in the East. She had also had 
experience as a public school teacher. Mr. McDonald 
lost no time in winning the hand of this brilliant young 
woman. They were married in the summer of 1888. 
No children blessed this union. 

On the 26th of June, 1896, Mr. McDonald married 
his present wife, Miss Helen Ezell. She had lived in 
Kaufman County, to the time of their marriage, all of 
her life. She was a charming, affectionate country 
lassie. She is about the average height, finely propor- 
tioned, of very light complexion and remarkably sedate 
and dignified. 

Indeed my hero could not have selected a better com- 
panion than his present devoted wife. For twenty-nine 

91 



92 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

years they have lived happily together and from present 
indications there seems to be many felicitous years 
before them. 

One child, their only child, a boy, William Madison 
McDonald, Jr., was born June 20, 1898. Baby Mc- 
Donald possessed many of the fine qualities of his father. 
He was such a charming young lad that he soon won 
his way into the hearts of all with whom he came in 
contact. Not only was he dearly loved by his ever- 
watchful parents, but both white and colored who knew 
him greatly admired the promising young son of Texas' 
most prominent citizen. 

At the proper age little William entered the public 
schools. He had many friends during his public school 
life. Both teachers and pupils loved him. Each sum- 
mer his mother traveled to many parts of the United 
States and Canada, taking her son with her. Seeing 
many parts of the country was a great lesson to the young 
lad. This travel, together with his home surroundings 
and being the son of two people far above the average, 
made him one of the brightest pupils in school. 

Having made a splendid record in the grades, Wil- 
liam, Jr., entered the high school in 1912, from which 
he graduated with high honors in 1916. At this time 
he was a very popular young lad in the city of Fort 
Worth. Many were his friends. He was looked upon 
as the coming banker of the colored race in the Panther 
City. 

In the fall of 1916 he entered Howard University, 
Washington, D. C, for the purpose of taking a business 
course and then studying law. His greatest ambition 
was to assist his father and mother and to prepare him- 



HOME LIFE 93 

self that he might be useful to his race, and with this 
in view he matriculated at Howard, entering the college 
department of that great university. 

Young McDonald was not at Howard long before he 
was greatly admired by both students and professors. 
He had many friends in the Capital of the Nation. He 
took an active part in the societies of the university and 
soon won for himself an abiding place in the hearts of 
all with whom he came in contact. 

But regardless of the young man's desire, regardless 
of the fondest hopes of the mother and father, the 
Supreme Father thought best to take this promising- 
young man from labor to reward. 

At the early age of twenty, in the very prime of life, 
just when he was budding into manhood, when the 
parents were indulging in the fondest hopes for their 
only child, that messenger which comes to all mankind 
summoned him to his everlasting home beyond the skies. 
Thus on the 18th of February, 1918, died this young 
man, the pride of his father and mother. 

At once the authorities at Howard wired Mr. Mc- 
Donald, who was at his desk in his bank at Fort Worth, 
the sad news. In former days Mr. McDonald had re- 
ceived thousands of telegrams telling him of victories 
and defeats. He had received messages announcing the 
death of relatives and friends, but this message from 
Howard was the most severe blow of his long and useful 
life. 

His only child, the boy who was to take up his burden 
where the father left off; the one for whom the father 
was planning and saving, that the boy might make a man 



94 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

of himself in the years to come; that boy had crossed 
the bar! 

At that time the writer was principal of the high 
school in Fort Worth. It was his custom to stop by the 
bank in the evening and have a chat with the banker. 
On the 18th of February, 1918, about 4:30 p. m., as 
was my habit, I went in for a chat. Mr. McDonald was 
not in. I could feel the gravity of the situation. Mrs. 
Carrington, his faithful stenographer, broke the silence 
by telling me the sad news, and that at that time the 
father was at the railroad station to board the first train 
for Washington. 

At once I hastened to the depot to cheer him up as 
much as possible. I knew the ride from Fort Worth, 
Texas, to Washington, D. C, would be a long and 
tedious one under the circumstances. I wanted to talk 
with him. I desired to give him the advice of a father 
who had lost a son, for I knew his heart was heavy, 
having lost his only child. 

Upon entering the station, he saw me coming and 
excused himself from Mrs. McDonald and several lady 
friends. He met me half way. I had decided to do no 
talking. I wanted to observe the man who had lost his 
only son. When we met he broke the silence by saying: 
"Professor, I have lost my only child. I hope my wife 
can bear it, for it is God's will." 

Dear reader, I never saw a man bear up better under 
such circumstances than he. He impressed me as being 
worthy of the great name he bears. The loss of his 
only child was the saddest event in the history of his 
life, for he had labored faithfully to make even a greater 
man of his boy than he himself is. 



HOME LIFE 95 

At that time, while we were talking in the station, 
Mrs. McDonald, the devoted mother and wife, did not 
know her son was dead. Mr. McDonald was starting 
upon a trip which would take him six or seven days to 
go and return. He did not wish his wife, during his 
absence from home, to be burdened with so much sor- 
row. She was of the opinion that her boy was critically 
ill. She had a ray of hope. But the husband knew the 
real condition. He said on reaching Washington he 
would wire her the truth. Should he tell her at that 
time he feared it might cause her to collapse and he 
himself would not be able to make the trip. Tears came 
to my eyes. I looked him over. He reminded me of 
Napoleon Bonaparte as that great general stood upon the 
deck of the Northumberland gazing for the last time 
upon his native land. 

Before Mr. McDonald left Washington with his 
son's remains the faculty and student body of Howard 
University paid an unusual tribute to the memory of the 
departed student. Many of Washington's foremost and 
leading citizens, as best they could, consoled the heavy 
hearted father. 

Upon arriving in Fort Worth the father and mother 
received many telegrams and messages of condolence 
from white and colored friends in all parts of the United 
States. 

Funeral services were held Sunday, February 26, at 
the home of Mr. McDonald. A large number of people 
of both races, many of whom came from other cities, 
witnessed the ceremonies. The procession that followed 
the body to the grave was the largest seen in Fort Worth 
in many a day. Leading white citizens, colored people 



96 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

from all walks of life, societies, all joined in paying a 
tribute of respect to the dead son of the leader of his 
race. 

The body was laid to rest in one of the largest and 
most beautiful cemeteries in Fort Worth, where a Mas- 
sachusetts granite monument, thirty-eight feet in 
height, resting upon a five-foot base, marks the resting 
place of this beloved son. This monument, erected at 
a cost of twenty thousand dollars, is the most imposing 
in Texas in honor of a private citizen. 

Each year since the death of his son Mr. McDonald 
has composed a poem to his memory. 

In 1920 He wrote: 

"MEMORY 

"McDonald. Sacred to the memory of our son, William 
Madison McDonald, Jr., who departed this life two years ago 
today, February 18, 1918. 

"In the graveyard safely sleeping, 
Where the flowers quietly wave. 
Lies the one we loved so dearly ; 
In his lonely silent grave. 

"Thou art gone, but not forgotten, 
In this great world of strife; 
Thou shalt always be remembered. 
As long as God gives us life. 

"More and more each day we miss you — 
Friends may think the wound is healed; 
But they little know the sorrow, 
That lies in our hearts concealed. 

"Days of sadness still come o'er us, 
Tears of sorrow silently flow; 
Fond memory keeps our beloved one near us; 
Though heaven claimed him for their own. 
"Devoted father and mother, 

"Wm. M. and Helen McDonald." 




Mrs. Mattie Helen McDonald 

Devoted Wife 



HOME LIFE 97 

In 1923 he wrote: 

"In Memoriam — Wm. Madison McDonald, Jr., died Feb- 
ruary 18, 1918, five years ago today. 

"February 18, 1923. 

"No one knows the silent heartaches. 
Only those who have lost can tell; 
Of the grief that is born in silence. 
For our dear boy we loved so well, 

"A boy the Father gave us, 
A pure and lovely child; 
He gave him to our keeping 
To cherish undefiled. 

"But just as he was budding 
Into the glory of the day ; 
Down came the Heavenly Father 
And took our boy away. 

"Wm. M. McDonald, 
"Helen McDonald." 

In 1925 he wrote: 

"Memorial — In sacred remembrance of our dear boy, Wil- 
liam Madison McDonald, Jr., who entered into eternal rest 
and joy seven years ago today, February 18, 1918. 

"Just Seven years ago, dear William } 
Since you passed away to rest; 
Though you're gone, your are not forgotten 
By the ones you loved the best. 

"No one knows how we have missed you 
In these seven years gone by, 
When you left us sad and lonely 
For your home in eternal bliss. 



98 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"We can not tell which of us next may jail 
Beneath the scythe of tlme y 
You were first; our hearts have since been sad y 
But we shall soon come and be with you 
In your home of eternal bliss. 

"Mr. and Mrs. Wm. M. McDonald." 

For a number of years Mr. McDonald has lived in 
his very beautiful home, 1201 Terrell Avenue, Fort 
Worth, Texas. His home is in the fifth ward and is 
considered by many the most beautiful residence in 
Texas owned by a colored man. His house is large and 
stately, with twelve rooms furnished with the very best 
furniture. I must describe one of these rooms, for its 
description will enable you to better understand the man. 

When Mr. McDonald decided to locate in Fort 
Worth he purchased a very large lot, 150 feet by 175 
feet, at the corner of Tennessee and Terrell Avenues. 
He employed one of the leading architects of the city to 
draw plans for his new home. In a few months the 
colored contractor had erected a most beautiful two- 
story dwelling with large colonial porches. It is a home 
that attracts attention of all who pass that way. 

The room you should know about is 18 feet by 24 
feet, with its 12-foot ceiling. Upon its walls hang ex- 
pensive oil paintings, the portraits of Mr. George Mc- 
Donald, Mrs. Helen McDonald, William Madison 
McDonald, Jr., and Mr. McDonald. Two sides of the 
room are filled with bookcases of the latest type — from 
the floor to the ceiling. 

Upon the book shelves are encyclopdeias, histories, the 
works of English and American poets, the standard lit- 
erature of all nations, the works of the leading dram- 



HOME LIFE 99 

atists from Greece to the present, the works of the 
scientists, the mathematicians, the classics of all na- 
tions, books on theology, the lives of great men, law 
books, books on pedagogy, on medicine, on business, on 
public speaking; in fact his library contains the most 
complete collection of books I have ever seen in a private 
home, white or colored. 

I have never been able to call for a book that he did 
not have. He has spent much money in the purchase of 
books. A conservative estimate would place the value 
of his private library at not less than eight thousand 
dollars. The masterpieces of fiction, historical descrip- 
tion, essays, biography, literature of all nations, all are 
found upon his book shelves. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that Mr. Mc- 
Donald has made good use of his large collection of the 
best books. Frequently I have gone to his library for 
information and have read excerpts from ten or twelve 
books on one visit. In many of his books he has indi- 
cated by foot notes approval or disapproval of the 
author's views. 

He is very fond of reading and spends much of his 
time in his library. After banking hours he goes home, 
eats his dinner at six o'clock sharp, smokes a good cigar, 
looks over the daily papers, then from eight to ten, and 
often to eleven, he reads some book from his large col- 
lection. Very often he is guided in his reading at night 
by some argument that has come up during the day. 

Mr. McDonald is very fond of the writings of Shake- 
speare, the orations of the great orators, and history. He 
is well informed and can converse fluently upon any 
standard piece of literature. 



100 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

His wife delights in beautifying the home. It is her 
greatest ambition to please her husband. She arranges 
everything for his comfort and is an ideal helpmeet. 
Her large front yard has many kinds of roses — red, 
white, pink, yellow — with borders of daffodils, while 
in the rear are many fruit trees, a large chicken yard, a 
servant house and a spacious garage, housing a Buick 
Club coupe and the latest Lincoln family roadster, two 
automobiles of which any family would be justly proud. 

The home life of the McDonalds is particularly 
happy. Every evening after banking hours Mrs. Mc- 
Donald calls for her husband in her new Lincoln and 
takes him home. Dinner is served. Very often some 
local friend or out-of-town friend is for dinner. I have 
never met two more kind and hospitable people than 
this devoted man and woman. After dinner they talk 
of the world happenings of the day or engage in con- 
versation over some book they are reading. 

Mr. McDonald is more religious than many folks 
think. When he was a young man, after finishing his 
high school education and just starting in life, his 
father desired him to study theology. This he did, and 
for a few years preached in the Baptist churches of his 
county. He did not continue his work as a preacher very 
long, for he felt that the Divine Spirit had not called 
him to do that kind of work. But he has been a faithful 
member of the Baptist church for a number of years. 

His home life is a religious one. Often have I found 
him and his Christian wife reading together the Bible. 
They spend much time in discussing the prominent 
characters of the Old and New Testament. He has the 




William Madison McDonald, Jr. 

Son 



HOME LIFE 101 

heart and soul of a Christian and is a true follower of 
the lowly Nazarene. 

McDonald gives little time to pleasure, being trained 
in the old school, or coming up at a time when the mod- 
ern games were not played on the school campus and 
on the small lots of the town, he has no fondness for 
baseball, football, lawn tennis, basket ball, etc. How- 
ever, he is ready at a moment's notice to go to see some 
master perform upon the stage, especially a play from 
Shakespeare, Marlow or some of the recognized dram- 
atists. He also enjoys a good motion picture, especially 
when it has an historical background. He is too busy 
for much pleasure. In addition to his private business 
and his work as Grand Secretary of the Masons of Texas 
and as editor and chief writer of the Masonic Quarterly 
and his extensive work for better racial conditions, the 
demand on his time for public addresses to churches, to 
various organizations, high school commencements, 
emancipation celebrations, business leagues, and in fact 
all forms of gatherings, the demand upon his time is 
indeed enormous. 

Christmas and New Year's are happy holidays in the 
McDonald home. The children of the neighborhood 
gather there for their presents. "It is more blessed to 
give than to receive" certainly has made a deep im- 
pression upon Mr. and Mrs. McDonald, for each 
child who goes to their home on the above holidays 
leaves thinking they are the best people in all the world. 
These two good people see to it that all the little children 
who come to their home go away feeling happy. 



CHAPTER IX 

Began Political Career. 1890 

Politics — pure politics, the art of government or 
the administration of public affairs — have always had 
many luring charms for ambitious young men. Young 
William McDonald, about the time of his entrance into 
politics, was twenty-four years of age. While attending 
the high school in the city of Kaufman he worked for 
Captain Z. T. Adams at a salary of $15.00 per month 
and board. Captain Adams was one of the leading 
lawyers of Texas. He took pleasure in giving young 
McDonald two lessons in law each day, one in the morn- 
ing and one in the evening. This was kept up for three 
years, during which time he read Greenlief on "Civil 
and Criminal Law, 5 ' Blackstone and Washburn on "Evi- 
dence," and many other law books. He also waited 
upon the different courts which convened in Kaufman 
and made a most favorable impression upon judges and 
lawyers. On more than one occasion Captain A.dams 
remarked to other lawyers that "There sits a Negro boy 
that would do honor to himself and reflect much credit 
upon his people were he allowed to plead in our courts." 

No wonder this young colored man, who had read 
carefully the history of his country and who had mas- 
tered much of law, should conclude that he would enter 
politics. About that time — 1890 — a splendid oppor- 
tunity for young men of worth was offered in leading 
the colored voters, who greatly needed direction. Of 

103 



104 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

course, the Negro voters were all Republicans. They 
believed in the principles of the party of Lincoln, but 
needed one of their number to blaze the way. 

In 1890 Mr. McDonald entered politics in his native 
county. He thoroughly believed in the principles of 
the Republican party. Being well informed, he could 
easily advise his fellow citizens. They readily followed 
his advice and in a few months he was the leading Re- 
publican in his county. So pronounced was his leader- 
ship in local politics that Hon. J. C. DeGress, the 
Republican State Chairman, appointed McDonald the 
County Chairman. 

At that time, as at present, there were two leading 
political parties in Texas — the Democratic and Repub- 
lican parties. As in most of the Southern States, and 
especially in Texas, every voter of color was a Repub- 
lican. But unfortunately for the party, there were those 
who believed the party, the grand old Republican party, 
belonged to the white man. The white Republicans 
were willing that Negroes vote the Republican ticket, 
but did not want the colored men in the councils of the 
party. There were a few just and impartial white men 
in the Republican party who were too big at heart, and 
in their sense of right, to desire that white men alone 
control the affairs of the party. They were willing that 
colored men fill any and all places they were capable of 
filling. When McDonald entered politics he found this 
situation and did what he could to have the white and 
colored men stand by the grand old party and not split 
because of the color of the one or the other. He ex- 
plained that they all, both white and colored men, should 
stand squarely upon the principles of the party. 



POLITICAL CAREER 105 

In point of numbers the Negroes were the most 
numerous of the Republicans, still McDonald, with all 
his great ability, placed principles above all else and 
urged both white and colored voters to stand together 
under the banner of the Republican party. He said that 
it would never do for the whites and colored to separate 
in the party — that both were citizens of the United 
States, and that the "Lily White" movement was based 
entirely on racial prejudice. 

In the short space of two years McDonald had become 
the recognized party leader in his county. In the county 
convention he was elected delegate to the Republican 
State Convention, which met in Dallas, April 12, 1892. 
The sentiment on the part of some white politicians to 
exclude the Negroes from party actions was growing. 
I am sure it was not because the colored race at that time 
did not have men who possessed intelligence and ability 
to fully understand and analyze the great principles of 
political economy underlying the Republican platform. 
In the first quarter of a century following the close of 
the Civil War the race had produced men even back in 
the nineties who were fully competent morally, intel- 
lectually and otherwise to guide the destinies of the 
Republican party. The colored voters of Texas did not 
desire to seize hold of the reins of government, but since 
they constituted the larger per cent of the Republican 
voters and most of the delegates to the county and state 
conventions, the men of color did think that when a 
member of their race was found with the necessary 
requirements and a majority of the delegates desired to 
elevate him to a high rank in the councils of the party 
that the will of the majority should be carried out. 



106 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

In Texas there has never been a Republican ticket 
elected to the highest state electoral offices. The Demo- 
crats outnumber the Republicans three to one, and from 
present indications it will be many years before we will 
see a Republican Governor of the Lone Star State. 

After two years of hard work, from 1890 to 1892, 
McDonald, as County Chairman, succeeded in uniting 
the Republicans of Kaufman County. He was recog- 
nized as the leader of the party by both white and col- 
ored. A young man of twenty-six, he, because of his 
ability both as a public speaker and a safe counselor to 
his people, had won his way to the front ranks of the 
Republicans of his native county. At this time the Hon. 
Norris Wright Cuney, a member of the colored race, 
was the leader of the Republicans of the state. He was 
a great leader and statesman. There were other great 
colored men in the affairs of the party in the state of 
Texas at this time and because of their prominence many 
of the white Republicans desired a change. The only 
excuse for the change was that many of the leaders were 
men of color. 

It has now been about thirty-five years since this 
impious move was started to form a white man's Repub- 
lican party in Texas and the end is not yet. In the 
Republican State Convention held in Fort Worth last 
fall (1924) I noticed there were only five or six colored 
delegates. Men of color are not taking much interest 
in political conventions. Many are voting, but they are 
studying men and measures and are casting their ballots 
for the best interests of the country. 

Dear reader, perhaps you may not know the meaning 
of the terms "Lily Whites" and the "Black and Tans." 



POLITICAL CAREER 107 

At the close of the Civil War the black man, who had 
served as a slave for two hundred and fifty years, was 
given all the civil rights enjoyed by the white man. The 
colored man was made a citizen of the United States. 
Many white men came from the North for the purpose 
of soliciting the vote of the newly enfranchised Negro. 
These white men were Republicans. The former slaves 
having the use of the ballot, felt that they owed an alle- 
giance to the Republican party, largely because of the 
fact that that particular party was in power during the 
bloody war and at the time the thirteenth, fourteenth 
and fifeenth amendments were made a part of the Con- 
stitution of the United States. Therefore the former 
slaves, almost to a man, voted the Republican ticket. 
Many of the newly made white citizens, those that came 
from north of the Mason and Dixon line, were elected 
to prominent places in the Southern States. It is also 
true that quite a number of colored men were elected 
to places of importance. At that time most of our col- 
ored brothers were fully unprepared to fill important 
places in the administration of the affairs of the state 
and the enactment of laws. Most of them could not 
read or write and were educationally unqualified to sit 
in legislative halls. However, about the year 1890 there 
were many of the colored race who could perform cred- 
itably all the duties of citizens 

For a number of years the colored Republicans, on all 
occasions, voted for the white Republicans, often re- 
gardless as to the qualifications of the later. After a few 
years the white men, those who had migrated to the 
South and those who had enjoyed some of the best 
political jobs because of the solid Negro vote, began to 



108 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

think that they could get along without the colored vote. 
In other words the white office seeker only wanted the 
vote of the colored man, but not his council in the affairs 
of the state. At once the colored man saw the trend of 
affairs and insisted that they were American citizens and 
should enjoy all the benefits of the party like other citi- 
zens. But the white men, at least most of them, con- 
cluded that they would organize a Republican party for 
white men and only white men. This so-called white 
man's Republican party was organized. The followers 
were called "Lily Whites," while the colored Repub- 
licans were called "The Black and Tans." As far as I 
have been able to learn the terms originated in Texas. 
Still those same conditions existed in some of the other 
Southern States. 

On March 9, 1892, the Republican State Convention 
met at Austin. Hon. N. W. Cuney, a member of the 
race, was the state leader. The purpose of the conven- 
tion was to elect delegates to the National Convention. 
Because of the tendency on the part of the white Re- 
publicans to free themselves, at all hazards, from the 
Negro as a race, the convention was one of the largest 
attended for years. In most of the counties two sets of 
delegates had been elected, one by the "Lily Whites" 
and one by the "Black and Tans." After a long and 
stormy session in which was much disscussion pro and 
con concerning the recognition of colored delegates, 
Hon. J. B. Rector was elected chairman. The next busi- 
ness before the convention was the selection of delegates- 
at-large to the National Republican Convention. Texas 
was entitled to eight delegates-at-large. John B. Rec- 
tor, W. F. Crawford, Lock McDaniel, A. J. Rosenthal, 





Monument Erected by Mr. and Mrs. McDonald in Memory 

of Their Son 
Size 8x8 base, 30 feet high, Massachusetts Granite 



POLITICAL CAREER 109 

A. Asbury, Fred Chase, C. M. Ferguson and N. W. 
Cuney were the delegates elected. The last four named 
were colored. 

On March 1 0th, immediately after the regular con- 
vention had adjourned, James P. Newcomb, leader of 
"Lily White" faction, called a mass convention of his 
followers to meet in Dallas April 12th for the purpose 
of naming delegates to the National Convention and 
nominating a state ticket, in opposition to those elected 
by the regular organization at Austin. 

Young William McDonald was a delegate to both of 
these conventions. At Austin he did all in his power to 
harmonize the two factions, but to no avail. At Dallas 
he used the same cool and deliberate arguments to unite 
the Republican forces, but the differences could not be 
settled. However, Mr. McDonald displayed such pow- 
ers as an orator and as a wise leader that all saw at the 
Dallas convention that from that time on he would be 
a known quantity in the Republican political equation. 

Pursuant to the call of Colonel Newcomb, the first 
white Republican Convention was held in Dallas April 
12, 1892. Many speeches were made giving reasons 
why the Negroes should not assist in managing the 
affairs of the party. Some claimed that the spirit of 
white men should be asserted in this country and the 
party should rid itself of Negro domination. Others 
advised that Negroes who wished to be Republicans 
should work separately from the whites. Judge Henry 
Cline of Houston made a strong appeal for the separa- 
tion of white and black Republicans. Colonel Kindred 
of Amarillo proposed to renominate and re-elect the 
men who were elected at Austin, but to no avail. Mr. 



110 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

McDonald came forth in one of the ablest speeches of 
the convention. He said in part: 

"We are Republicans. The true followers of our 
party know no color line. It is true, many of us belong 
to the Negro race and served this Southland two hundred 
and fifty years without a murmur or complaint. We 
defended your wives, your children, your homes and 
never betrayed a trust. After one of the bloodiest wars 
recorded upon the pages of history the organic law of 
the land made us all citizens. The thirteenth, four- 
teenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution of 
the United States of America must not be trampled un- 
der the cruel feet of men. The principles of the grand 
old party appeal to me and I am a Republican in a con- 
vention composed of white men, red men, or black men. 
There can never be a white man's party or a black 
man's party under the true principles of the Republican 
banner." 

No human could change the minds of those "Lily 
White" delegates. After much talk delegates to the 
Republican National Convention were nominated. Also 
a complete state ticket was chosen. Col. A. J. Houston 
of Dallas, the son of the illustrious Sam Houston, was 
nominated for Governor and Col. Newcomb for Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. Colonel Houston did not seek the 
nomination and in his address said: "The combined 
wisdom of conservative men oppose nominations at this 
time for reasons seemingly good." 

The "white" convention appealed to the Republicans 
of the state. Among other things, the people were 
Urged to consider the new departure the convention had 



POLITICAL CAREER 111 

taken: that white men only should control the affairs of 
the party. 

On the 7th of June the Republican National Conven- 
tion met at Minneapolis. The "Lily White" delegates 
appealed their case to the highest tribunal of the party — 
the Committee on Credentials of the National Conven- 
tion. They claimed they were the accredited delegates 
of the Republicans of Texas. When the report of the 
Committee on Credentials was read and adopted by the 
National Convention the "Lily Whites" were told that 
they were "not only not entitled to seats in the conven- 
tion, but represented a political organization in Texas 
which is un-American and un-Republican." Thus for 
a time the Lily Whites were defeated. 

At the Minneapolis Republican Convention in 1892 
there were one hundred and twenty colored delegates. 
Prominent among them was Mr. McDonald. He was 
a strong Harrison man. Benjamin Harrison of Illinois 
was president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. 
When the Republicans, who had nominted him for a 
second term (four years), again ran him in 1892 he was 
defeated by Grover Cleveland of New York. Mr. 
Cleveland was the first President elected by the Demo- 
crats in twenty-four years, being the twenty-second 
President from 1885 to 1889, and then elected again in 
1892. He was our first executive to serve a second term 
not consecutive with the first. 

Mr. McDonald made very rapid strides in the affairs 
of his party. In 1890 he was county chairman of the 
Republican party in the county of his birth. He took 
a deep interest in all political matters, attended all con- 
ventions, county, state and national. In 1894 he was 



112 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

made State Chairman and from that time to 1912, a 
period of eighteen years, was the foremost Republican 
leader of the great commonwealth of Texas. His genius 
as a leader, his wisdom in the councils of the party, his 
brilliancy as an orator, his thorough knowledge of the 
principles of the great national party, his unquestioned 
honesty and integrity had won an abiding place in the 
hearts of his countrymen. The Republicans of Texas, 
both white and colored, in the short space of four years 
had come to the conclusion that William McDonald 
was a real statesman and a born leader; that when he had 
decided on those things which were for the best interest 
of his fellow citizens nothing could turn him aside from 
the execution of his ideals. His opinion on political 
questions were sought by all. Many of the leading news- 
papers of the state and nation sent reporters to obtain 
his views on political matters, both state and national. 
Many of the party leaders sought his ideas and counsel 
before the convening of state conventions. 

On March 24, 1895, the State Convention met at 
Austin. Never before had so many Republican dele- 
gates met in convention. It was the largest attended 
Republican convention in the history of the state. With- 
out question Mr. McDonald was at that time the 
recognized leader of the party in the Lone Star State. 
The convention named him as a delegate to the Re- 
publican National Convention, which met in St. Louis. 

It was while attending the St. Louis Convention in 
1896 that Mr. McDonald received his political nick- 
name, which has lasted him for thirty years. In writing 
an account of the convention Bill Stericks had the fol- 
lowing to say: 




E. H. R. Green 

Son of Hettie Green 

For Many Years He and McDonald Controlled the 

Republican Party of Texas 



POLITICAL CAREER 113 

"There is a colored man here from Kaufman by the name 
of McDonald. He has an Irish name, but is a kind of goose- 
necked Negro, evidently as smart as a whip. He is leading the 
delegation in that county, and while he's kind and gentle, is 
evidently the least bit dictatorial. The Lily Whites say that 
he is carrying Mr. Green's credentials in his pocket. A funny 
story is told by these white folks about it, and it is to the effect 
that this darky dictated the terms on which he and Green 
should come to this convention. I know nothing about it 
except that the white folks that are opposed to Green are tell- 
ing it with great glee and swearing that this Negro is pulling 
Green's leg." 

"William M. McDonald of Kaufman County, christened 
'Gooseneck' William by the Washington correspondent of the 
News at the National Republican Convention in St. Louis in 
1896, has been the stormy petrel of Republican politics in 
Texas for several years. He was the friend and follower of 
N. W. Cuney when that departed leader of the black race 
was a power in Republican councils. In 1896 McDonald bolted 
the fusion ticket, resigned as a member of the state committee 
and openly espoused the cause of Culberson." 

The appellation may have been given in derision, but 
it attracted much attention to the leading politician of 
his time. 

In 1895 Mr. McDonald was invited to Washington, 
D. C, by Hon. Mathew Stanley Quay, senior senator 
from Pennsylvania and national leader of the Reed 
forces. 

Hon. Thomas B. Reed, a representative in the lower 
house of Congress, had for a number of years been 
speaker of the House of Representatives. He was 
urged by his home state, Maine, to announce himself 
for the presidency of the United States. Mr. Quay was 
his campaign manager and, looking to Texas for help, 
decided that Bill McDonald, because of his splendid 



1 14 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

record, was the man to lead the Lone Star forces for 
Speaker Reed. Indeed, the fact that Mr. McDonald 
was sent for by one of the leading statesmen of his day 
to go to Washington for a conference is a recognition 
of his ability. Remember, my Texas statesman, Mc- 
Donald, was not thirty years of age at the time and 
in the state were many politicians, both white and col- 
ored, who had lived the allotted time of nature. Still, 
this young man was looked upon as the real leader of 
the Republicans of Texas. Senator Quay did not need 
to talk to Mr. McDonald very long before the latter 
gave him to understand that he was a Reed man. He 
had followed closely the record of the Maine man and 
had reached the conclusion that Speaker Reed was ex- 
cellent timber for the executive office. 

When McDonald returned to his native state from 
Washington he found many of his Republican friends 
favoring the candidacy of other men. Harrison, Lin- 
coln (son of Abe), Morton, Allison, McKinley and a 
few others were being spoken of as standard-bearers of 
the Grand Old Party. Each had his following and 
now it was up to young McDonald to get Reed sup- 
porters. He began in his native county. It was not 
many days before the leaders in Kaufman County were 
all for Thomas B. Reed. His next effort was to show 
th(e district convention the importance of supporting 
Reed. The task was not an easy one, as you may judge 
from the following: 



POLITICAL CAREER Hi 

SPLIT IN THE SIXTH 



Two Sets of Delegates to the Republican National 

Convention. 



THERE WERE STORMY TIMES 



But the Reed Men Had Things Practically Their Own 
Way — Minutes of the Convention. 



"KAUFMAN, Kaufman Co., Texas, Jan. 11, 1895.— The 
Republican party of the Sixth Congressional District split clear 
up to the neck today. The exponents of the principles of the 
G. O. P. came here to select two delegates to the national 
Republican convention, but before the fun was over they 
had elected four, and even then did not appear satisfied with 
the day's work. Some stormy scenes were enacted, a bolt en- 
sued and with the exception of Mr. James J. Gannon the 
Dallas delegation retired early in the engagement to set up 
a shop of its own. The result is that there are now two sets 
of delegates to the national convention and two separate Re- 
publican organizations in the sixth district, with the lily whites 
yet to hear from. 

"It was 1 o'clock this morning when the special train bear- 
ing the Dallas delegation and a special correspondent of The 
News arrived here. The special train, which proved a great 
convenience, was generously provided by Mr. Eugene Mar- 
shall of Dallas, who chaperoned the delegation assisted by 
J. S. Boggs of Kaufman, the latter gentleman being en route 
home from a trip to Dallas, and a Democrat of the unterrified 
persuasion. There were two colored brass bands on the train, 
and they enlivened things with good music during the entire 
journey. 

While there were stormy periods during the convention and 
much wrangling between the Reed men on one side and the 
McKinley men on the other, the convention taken in its en- 
tirety was not nearly so 'wild and woolly' as had been antici- 
pated, for the reason that the fight was too one-sided. 



116 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"As soon as the delegates got off the train they began to 
caucus in and around the courthouse square, and it soon be- 
came apparent that the Reed men had things practically their 
own way. The slate agreed on was E. H. R. Green and W. M. 
McDonald, both rockribbed Reed men, and it did not require 
any great amount of political sagacity to see that this contingent 
had a 'brutal majority* and was in the saddle to win. 

"The McKinley minority, however, had plenty of sand and 
determined to make a fight even against odds. The result was 
the bolt, two conventions and two sets of delegates, as the 
proceedings will attest. 

"Before the convention convened the McKinley men cau- 
cused and Mr. McCormick said he understood that Chairman 
Barton had refused to place Dallas County on the list, and 
also to recognize the proxies, which would leave Bosque and 
some other counties without representation. Therefore he 
could not see what was left to be done except to form a con- 
vention of their own and protect their rights. It was decided, 
however, to wait until the convention was called to order, let 
events take their own course and then be governed thereby. 

"The delegates were scarcely in their seats before the spar- 
ring commenced, and in ten minutes the fur was flying. Harry 
Johnson of Hill said confidentially to The News correspond- 
ent: 'We are going to run the durn thing or break it up, but 
this is not for publication.' Well, they didn't run it, but they 
broke it up all right — or rather, their end of it. 

"It is true that after the minority had retired and the main 
convention had been permanently organized a credentials com- 
mittee report seating the bolters was unanimously adopted, but 
this action did not have the effect of restoring white-winged 
peace. The bolters said that was simply sop thrown to them 
and that it was evidence of weakening on the part of the 
majority. They said further that having been ruled out in 
the beginning, they would stay out. And they did. 

"Today's convention developed the fact that there has been 
an addition to the 'black and tan' forces in the person of Capt. 
H. F. Peery. Up to a recent date he has been training with 
tne lily whites, but he was today participating in the conven- 



POLITICAL CAREER 117 

tion and was in the 'thickest of the fray.' Gen. Web Flanagan 
and Judge Makemson were also on hand, but they were out of 
their district and belonged to the 'third house/ so to speak. 
Neither of the gentlemen wore broad and voluminous smiles 
'after the smoke of battle cleared away,' and it was apparent 
that the split had placed an unpleasant taste in their mouths. 

"Two prominent Texas Democrats watched the proceedings 
with interest in the person of Col. Alsdorf Faulkner and Hon. 
Ham Gossett. Both disclaimed any intention of joining the 
Republican party, however. 

"The convention adjourned earlier than was expected and 
the delegates were en route home by 4:30 p. m. On the 
return trip a resolution was adopted tendering a hearty vote 
of thanks to Mr. Eugene Marshall for the excellent accommo- 
dations he furnished in the way of a special train. Some of 
the boys appear to be satisfied with the results, but the more 
thoughtful ones are asking themselves 'Where are we at?' 

The Proceedings. 

"The convention was called to order by F. M. Barton, 
chairman of the Sixth Congressional District. 

"Hon. Ham Gossett, on behalf of the people of Kaufman, 
briefly welcomed the delegates, saying they were the repre- 
sentatives of a great party coming from the most populous 
and best congressional district in the greatest state in the Union. 
He said it was a compliment to Kaufman that a Republican 
convention had assembled in the banner Democratic county 
of the district. 

" 'While we disagree with you,' he continued, 'we give you 
credit for being honest in your conviction and patriotic citi- 
zens. We can wish you no greater harm than that your delib- 
erations may be characterized by that harmony which charac- 
terizes the national democracy.' 

"Chairman Barton said the election of a temporary chair- 
man was in order. 

"Mr. McCormick brought up the question of credentials. 

"Delegate McDonald — A proxy can not delegate another 
proxy to cast his vote. Therefore Mr. McCormick has no 
seat in this convention. 



118 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"The chair ruled in accordance therewith and refused to put 
a motion from Mr. McCormick, saying he was not entitled to 
representation. 

"Mr. McCormick then appealed from the decision of the 
chair, but could get no vote on the appeal. 

"He then moved to add Dallas to the list of credentials, but 
the chair refused to entertain that motion also. 

"Delegate McDonald moved that G. W. Foster be made 
temporary chairman of the convention, and the chair put the 
motion. 

"Meanwhile Mr. McCormick made a vigorous protest, 
characterizing the action of the chair as autocratic and un- 
republican. 

"The roll was called, Dallas and other contested counties 
being omitted and not participating in the temporary organ- 
ization, and Foster was declared elected. 

"Chairman Foster then addressed the convention as follows: 

" 'Gentlemen of the convention : I would be worse than an 
ingrate if I did not feel keenly and appreciate profoundly the 
great honor that you have conferred upon me by electing me 
as temporary chairman of this convention. Doubtless you may 
expect from me a set speech, but, gentlemen of the convention, 
this is not the time for me to engage your time at speech- 
making. Yet I feel it my duty to congratulate you upon the 
bright prospects for success of the Republican party in the 
nation. I wish so much could be said of Texas. It may be 
Harrison, Lnicoln, Morton, Allison, McKinley, or it may 
be the greatest American of them all, Thomas B. Reed, who- 
ever is nominated at St. Louis, Mo., June 1 6, will be president 
of this republic, and this can be set down as a fact which needs 
not to be demonstrated. 

" c l love this country and the Republican party because it 
gives to the lowest equal opportunity with the greatest. In the 
Republican party the avenues to political distinction are open 
to all regardless of color or condition. Our platform is as 
br,oad as humanity. The Mexican, Dago, Chinaman, Indian, 
the lily white and even the most hot-headed Democrat, can 



POLITICAL CAREER 119 

find room to stand thereon. I tell you, gentlemen, you belong 
to a grand party. It is the greatest political organization that 
ever existed. It is the only party that has never compromised 
with Coxeyism, third partyism and the devil. It was this 
great party that saved the Union, put down the rebellion and 
emancipated 4,000,000 of human beings. It freed the white 
man, it freed the black man, it even freed the beast of burden 
and it raised high in the heaven the old flag of the Union. It 
put to death the doctrine that this government is not a nation. 
It said that this government should not be a many-headed 
monster, made of warring states, but a nation great and free. 

" c l must be brief, but allow me to say that the mission of 
the Republican party will not have been accomplished until 
the American people are given a sound and stable American 
policy. We want gold and silver and paper money. We want 
all of it we can get. We want silver dollars, but we want these 
silver dollars equal to a gold dollar, if you make or have to 
make them four feet in diameter. We want the American 
industry protected. We want it so a sheep can look a man in 
the face and not feel that he has committed a crime. We want 
the interests of Ameircans abroad protected, and paramount 
above them all we want free speech, an honest ballot and a 
fair count. 

" 'Gentlemen, I thank you for the honor conferred, and 
hope that the two delegates elected from this convention shall 
go to the national convention hand in hand, shoulder to shoul- 
der, with one great purpose in view — of doing the most good 
to the greatest number.' 

" c Mr. McCormick tried to talk but the convention would 
not listen. 

"The delegates howled and hopped upon the benches. It 
was a regular bedlam for a few moments and the chair bor- 
rowed Ham Gossett's walking cane to use as a gavel. 

"During the confusion Mr. McCormick stated in a digni- 
fied way that it was evident that the real Republicans of the 
district were to have no voice in the proceedings, and might 
as well retire and hold a convention of their own. 

"Then the howling commenced anew and the Dallas dele- 



120 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

gation and some of the members of other delegations walked 
out of the hall. John J. Gannon of the Dallas delegation 
remaining in the convention, but not participating in the de- 
liberations. 

"The band played and after the confusion subsided the chair 
appointed Jas. G. Gibbs sergeant-at-arms. 

"D. J. Nichols was elected secretary, after which Chairman 
Foster then announced the following committees: 

"Credentials — R. C. Spence, S. M. Bartin and G. W. Lanier. 

"Resolutions — W. M. McDonald, A. Oliver, T. H. Benton, 
T. H. Hefner and S. Scruggs. 

"Permanent organization — T. H. Hefner, Jim Gibbs and 
R. T. Pardee. 

"A recess was then taken for dinner. 

Afternoon Session. 

"When the convention reconvened the committee on cre- 
dentials submitted the following report, which was adopted 
by sections, and practically without discussion: 

" 'The committee on credentials beg leave to report as fol- 
lows: That after hearing the arguments in the Navarro 
County contest and after examining the grounds upon which 
the contest is said to be based, your committee has reached 
the conclusion that there is no grounds for a contest in Navarro 
County, and the committee therefore recommends that the 
delegation known as the 'Nicholas delegation' be seated. Said 
delegation is composed of the following named delegates: 
D. J. Nichols, Geo. W. Lanier, Robert T. Pardee, S. W. 
Younger, G. A. Jones, W. Jones, R. D. Nichols and the fol- 
J owing named alternates, E. V. Williams, E. J. Griffin, R. D. 
P. Hill, Allen Thomas, B. Harle, Alex Herane, Geo. W. 
Johnson. 

" '2. Your committee reports that the Dallas delegation 
be seated. Not that we fail to sustain Chairman Gannon's 
position taken in his protest, but we believe his position to be 
a correct one and the only legal course for him to have taken j 
yet it is not denied that the convention was called for the pur- 
pose of selecting twelve delegates and twelve alternates to 



POLITICAL CAREER 121 

represent Dallas County in this district convention, but to the 
contrary it is admitted by all parties concerned that a call was 
made for the purpose of electing delegates to the district con- 
vention. And an abundance of evidence has been submitted 
to the committee to justify it in reaching the conclusion, first, 
that a convention was regularly called by Chairman Gannon; 
second, that a number of persons did gather or assemble at 
the time and place with all "tents" and "purposes" of adher- 
ing to the call and selecting twelve delegates and twelve alter- 
nates to represent the said county in the district convention. 
Third, that the delegates were elected as stated by Chairman 
Gannon under a temporary organization, which is a prepara- 
tory body without power to give credentials of representation, 
but your committee holds that the same electors who created 
the temporary convention could have created a permanent 
convention and elected the same twelve delegates and twelve 
alternates. Therefore your committee recommends that out 
of simple courtesy and not political equity the following named 
persons be allowed to cast the vote of Dallas County in this 
convention: L. S. Garrison, chairman; F. H. Doran, W. E. 
King, J. W. Strauss, R. P. McRay, F. C. Rutherford, L. T. 
Tune, J. H. Sims, W. M. Robinson, D. M. Mason, W. H. 
Haggard, W. L. Kimbrough, T. H. Chambers, Wm. Middle- 
ton, H. McEvoy, Dave Bryant, M. Spikes, J. E. Wiley, J. M. 
McCormick, James J. Gannon, S. W. Lowery, C. H. Lednum, 
J. E. Griffin, Samuel B. Miller. 

" '3. Your committee reports in the Ellis County contest, 
that the Biggins delegation be seated; composed of the fol- 
lowing named gentlemen : D. L. Biggins, S. Davis, Jeff Moss, 
J. R. Swaney, Jim Lister, Dave Ferris; alternates, W. Right, 
Lee Smith, Jeff Lister, L. Centers, Mingo Berry. The irreg- 
ular procedure of selecting a temporary chairman and the 
abundance of evidence that the Biggins delegation was elected 
by a majority of the members of the convention held Jan. 6, 
and that the Morrison delegation was elected by a majority of 
the members of the convention, clearly justify our report and 
we recommend the seating of Biggins' delegation. We further 
recommend that D. G. Biggins be recognized as chairman of 



122 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the county executive committee of Ellis County Repub- 
licans.' 

"The committee on permanent organization recommended 
T. H. Hefner of Forney for permanent chairman, G. A. 
Jones of Navarro for permanent secretary and Jas. H. Gibbs 
for sergeant-at-arms. 

"The report was adopted and Mr. Hefner thanked the con- 
vention. 

"The following resolution was offered by G. W. Foster and 
adopted without a dissenting vote: 

" 'Resolved, that W. M. McDonald and E. H. R. Green 
be selected by this convention as the delegates to the national 
convention which is to be held in the city of St. Louis, Mo., 
and that Eugene Marshall of Dallas County be the alternate 
to the said E. H. R. Green and that J. D. Nichols of Navarro 
be the alternate of the said W. M. McDonald. 5 

"W. M. McDonald heartily thanked the convention for the 
honor conferred on him, saying he had had a hard fight and 
won it and he would ever remember the friends who had so 
nobly stood by him. He eulogized the Republican party and 
pronounced a pleasing panegyric on Thomas B. Reed. 

"E. H. R. Green also returned thanks to the convention, 
pledging his best efforts to carry out the wishes of the body 
at the national convention. Mr. Green modestly stated that 
he was no orator, but would try to prove a man of deeds. 

"A resolution was offered by George W. Lanier instructing 
the delegates to vote for Thomas B. Reed for president. 

"Some of the delegates thought this a useless procedure, 
as it was known that both delegates favored Mr. Reed, and 
the resolution was withdrawn. 

"James J. Gannon of Dallas was unanimously elected to 
the position of elector from the sixth district. 

"The following was submitted by the committee on resolu- 
tions and adopted: 

" 'We, your committee on resolutions, beg leave to report 
as follows: 

. " 'We, the Republicans of the Sixth Congressional District, 



POLITICAL CAREER 123 

in convention assembled, reaffirm our adherence to the prin- 
ciples of the national Republican party as proclaimed in the 
last national convention. 

" 'We congratulate our fellow-citizens on the bright pros- 
pects of returning the Republican party to power and control 
in the nation. 

" ( We arraign the Democratic national administration for its 
subserviency to the interest of the money power which created 
it and its indifference to the welfare of the people, for its 
violation of its solemn pledge to the country to elevate and 
purify public service, for its weak and demagogical policy 
which has exhibited the American government to the world as 
a bully toward the feeble and a trickster toward the powerful. 

" c The Democratic party has sought to fasten an iniquitous, 
oppressive and unjust system of taxation upon the American 
people — the Wilson bill. The effect of its legislation is to 
fetter trade and commerce, those swift agencies of civilization, 
and disorganize and disarrange every element of industry, 
to foster injurious combinations and enhance the prices of the 
necessities of life.' " 

The campaign in 1896 in most of the states was 
one of the most bitter in the history of the nation. Per- 
haps never before or since were there so many able men 
in the race for the nomination of the Republican party. 
Among the candidates were Hon. Wm. B. Allison, sen- 
ator from Iowa; Hon. William McKinley of Ohio, a 
former member of Congress and the ex-governor of his 
state; Hon. Thomas B. Reed of Maine, the speaker of 
the House of Representatives, and a few others. All 
were able men and had been national leaders in the Re- 
publican party for years. Each had a large following. 
Each was a statesman of marked ability. I have had the 
pleasure of hearing each speak on national questions and 
to this day am greatly impressed with the marked ability 
of each. All were great statesmen. 



124 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Thomas B. Reed had made a great record as a repre- 
sentative from Maine. He had become famous as 
speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a 
great leader, the most able parliamentarian of his day, 
and had so stamped himself upon the country that it was 
no wonder that McDonald, as one of the many thousands 
should advocate the nomination of Speaker Reed for the 
presidency of the United States. The Texas leader 
worked hard for the Maine man. He left not a stone 
unturned. To show his interest we quote the following 
from the Dallas News of March 19, 1 896. In the fol- 
lowing talk to the reporter you have Mr. McDonald's 
ideas: 

"William M. McDonald of Forney passed through the 
city yesterday on his way to Galveston. From there he goes 
to Austin in attendance on the Republican state convention. 
When asked how Mr. Reed's canvass was progressing in Texas 
he said: 'There are three congressional district conventions to 
be held as yet, including the state convention, which elects four 
delegates from at large. Out of the ten delegates yet to be 
elected Mr. Reed's friends expect to capture five, and while 
there are contests in every district except two which have held 
conventions this year the truth of it is that Mr. Reed carried 
all of the districts except the eleventh and twelfth. It is a 
notable fact that where there are said to be contests they 
grew out of the election of temporary chairmen, each side 
claiming to have elected their man. Now let's see: In the 
first district Mr. Thompson was the candidate put up by the 
Reed people. He received 31^4 votes, while his opponent 
received 19^4- There were 51 votes in the district convention. 
In the second district the Reed people nominated J. H. Brink- 
ley and the McKinley people nominated Charlton for temp- 
orary chairman. Mr. Binkley received Z^/z votes and Mr. 
Charlton 2 1 J4. In each of these districts the opposition "bolt" 
off and set up conventions of their own. Of course there was 
no way to prevent them unless we allowed a minority to rule. 



POLITICAL CAREER 125 

In the fifth district there is no contest in the common acceptance 
of the term. The Reed people took the position that Chair- 
man Thompson had no authority to revoke his call nor any 
part of it after he had issued it and the counties had acted 
upon it in good faith. The Sherman convention was organ- 
ized with a contested delegation from Fannin and Grayson and 
the uncontested delegation from Collin. The Denton conven- 
tion was organized with Denton, Cooke and Montague Coun- 
ties, all uncontested, and a contested delegation from Grayson 
and Fannin Counties. If there is anything like prima facie 
rights to be regarded in the national convention the Denton 
convention will be recognized. Here in the sixth district Mr. 
J. M. McCormick took exceptions to the ruling of the chair 
and grabbed up eleven delegates, himself included, and walked 
out before the convention had organized, went down stairs and 
set up a convention of its own. The split came in the seventh 
district over the election of a temporary chairman. Mr. 
Goosby was nominated by the Reed people and Powell by 
the McKinley people. Goosby received 24J^ votes while 
Powell received 14J^2. And in the ninth district the row was 
kicked up over the election of the temporary chairman. The 
Reed people put up John A. Cain for temporary chairman and 
the opposition nominated Thompson. Cain got 24 11-14 
votes and Thompson 19 3-14. I simply review the acts of 
these conventions in order that all concerned may arrive at 
some intelligent conclusion.' 

"When asked who he thought would be the nominee of the 
St. Louis convention McDonald said: 'My opinion is not worth 
much along that line, but I give it as my own idea that the 
northern states which cast their electoral vote every time for 
the Republican nominees are not going to allow southern states 
and those states which do not give a single electoral vote to 
name the presidential candidate. If the South should nom- 
inate a president from no other motive than to control offices 
down here and being unable to help elect, after nominating 
him they might find themselves in the same attitude as they 
were in 1892 — out in the cold for four long years. Major 
McKinley no doubt is a good Republican and well fitted to 



126 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

fill the presidential chair, but despite all the good things that 
can be said of him it is a fact that he has carried only one 
Republican state. True, he has carried Arkansas, Kansas, Mis- 
souri and Wisconsin. Three of these states in 1892 gave their 
electoral vote to the Democratic party, and one gave hers to 
Weaver, the Populist. 5 

"Speaking of who will likely represent Texas from the state 
at large Mr. McDonald said: 'This is an unknown quantity. 
There are a large number of worthy candidates. Flanagan, 
Makemson, Cuney, Ferguson, Anderson, Terrell, Grant, 
Davis, Cain and a host of others. There are nearly 200 votes 
contested, and no one candidate can organize the convention 
without the help of the other.' " 



"KAUFMAN, Texas, Sept. 14.— The colored politician, 
Wm. M. McDonald, referred to in The News of the 13th 
and 14th instant in connection with the 'Foster circular,' and 
who lives at Forney, was in Kaufman today attending district 
court, and in speaking of the Foster circular said: 'There are 
those in the state who would condescend to do almost anything 
to carry their political ends. The Foster circular may have 
been meant to injure Mr. Reed in this state, yet his friends 
will turn it to good advantage. There may be such a person as 
Foster, but be that as it may, no Republican in Texas would 
leave the party provided $100,000 was dumped into this state 
to help wage a canvass of education and patriotism. I have 
read the circular and in fact one was mailed to me, to the 
subject matter of which I paid little or no attention, and an- 
swered that gentleman in a general way. In my judgment the 
Foster letter has raised Reed's stock 50 per cent in Texas.' 

"McDonald was raised in Kaufman and is 29 years old. 
He studied law three years under Z. T. Adams in this town 
and is worth about $3,000 in city and farm property. He is 
far above the average intelligence of his race and has a fair 
education." 

In national politics McDonald has been a consistent 
Republican. In state politics he has always voted the 
Republican ticket with the exception of the year 1896 



POLITICAL CAREER 127 

when he worked and voted for Hon. C. A. Culberson 
of Jefferson, Texas, for governor. 

To the best of my ability, I have followed his political 
career to see if he worked for the best interest of his 
people. When I note the measures and principles he 
has advocated, the men for whom he has worked that 
they might be elevated to office, their state and national 
records as servants of the people, when I consider all 
of these things I am all the more convinced that Texas 
never produced a citizen whose aims and aspirations were 
more lofty in the general welfare of all the people. 

Texas has always elected the choice of the Demo- 
cratic party, not because the nominees of that party 
were superior to some of the candidates of the Repub- 
lican party, but because the state is a strong Democratic 
commonwealth. In state politics McDonald has not 
at all times had his way. His counsel and advice have 
not been followed on a few occasions, but from his 
entrance into politics in 1890 to 1924 he has stood for 
measures and principles that were for the best interest 
of his state and nation. 

For thirty-two years, from 1892 to 1924, Mr. Mc- 
Donald has been a delegate to the National Republican 
Convention. In that time he has attended nine national 
conventions of the G. O. P. Only a few white men 
have been delegates to a national convention thirty or 
more years. This colored man has been so honored by 
his native state that he has been sent to assist in naming 
the candidates for President of the United States to nine 
consecuive National Conventions. 

Notice his choice at the nine National Republican 
Conventions: In June, 1892, at Minneapolis, he was 



128 BIOGRAPHY OF W, M. McDONALD 

for James G. Blaine; in 1896, at St. Louis, he was for 
Thomas B. Reed; in 1900, at Philadelphia, he was for 
Theodore Roosevelt; in 1904, at Chicago, he was for 
Theodore Roosevelt; in 1908, at Chicago, he was for 
Governor Foraker; in 1912, at Chicago, he was for Wil- 
liam H. Taft; in 1916, at Chicago, he was for Charles 
E. Hughes; in 1920, at Chicago, he was for General 
Woods; in 1924, at Cleveland, everybody was for Pres- 
ident Calvin Coolidge. 

The above men are some of the most patriotic that 
ever lived, some of the ablest statesmen America ever 
produced, some of the best friends the Negro race ever 
had. They were and are men who stood and stand for 
the highest ideals of manhood; men whose national 
reputations could not be questioned; men who were and 
are great party leaders; men whom any delegate would 
delight in naming for the highest office in the gift of 
the American people. 

Blaine, Reed, Foraker, Hughes and Woods neither 
was elected president. Blaine was nominated in 1884 
and was the first Republican nominee for the presidency 
in twenty- four years to be defeated. In 1888 and 1892 
he was a prominent candidate. In 1916 Hughes was 
nominated but defeated by Woodrow Wilson, who was 
the choice of the Democratic party in 1912 and 1916. 

A careful study of the public records of the men who 
were candidates before the Republican National Con- 
vention from 1892 to 1924 will convince you that Mc- 
Donald, in his choice for a period of thirty-two years, 
has been for the men whom the popular mind considered 
the ablest members of the party. 
# Although McDonald was not in favor of the nom- 



POLITICAL CAREER 129 

inations of four of the Republican candidates, he has 
loyally supported the choice of the party. For the past 
third of a century, he has given his time and money for 
the success of his party. In many of the doubtful 
states, his eloquence, backed by a comprehensive knowl- 
edge of the political issues before the people, has won 
thousands to his party. Since 1892, his political friends 
in Texas have named him as one of their choice to the 
National Republican Convention and not once has he 
failed to stand for the highest ideals and principles of 
the Grand Old Party. A few months ago he announced 
his retirement from politics, the state and nation will 
miss this Cincinatus of the Southwest. 

In 1896 the Republicans of Texas failed to nominate 
a state ticket. The regular convention was held and 
many of the leaders favored an indorsement of the 
Populist candidate, J. C. Kirby of Dallas, for governor. 

Charles A. Culberson, who for two years had been 
governor, was again nominated by the Democrats. Be- 
tween the two men, one a Populist, the other a Demo- 
crat, the Republicans, if they voted at all, had a choice. 
The following open letter to Lawyer M. H. Broyles will 
indicate the position of Mr. McDonald: 

GOOSENECK HOT 



In a Letter to Broyles Takes a Fling at His Enemies. 



HE HAS THEIR RECORDS 



He Says, and Intimates That There Will Be Something 
Doing Before the Campaign Is Over. 



"In a letter addressed to M. H. Broyles, the colored polit- 



130 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

ical leader among the reorganization Republicans of Houston, 
Gooseneck Bill McDonald scores his enemies. He recalls 
some of the things that are being circulated against him, one 
of them being that he received pay for supporting Culberson 
in 1896, and that he is always pulling E. H. R. Green's leg. 
He denies these charges in emphatic language. McDonald 
says that he has the public and private records of all those who 
have attacked him, and intimates that he intends to make use 
of them. 

"It is the beginning of the campaign among the Repub- 
licans. The reorganizationists have laid low, awaiting whether 
or not Green would get on the ticket. Since it has been decided 
to place the reorganizationists on the ticket, there has been a 
rustling of wings, and there will be eagle screeches over the 
state. While, of course, the Republicans will wage war on 
the Democrats, they will wage a more bitter one among them- 
selves. McDonald's letter is as follows: 

" 'Hon. M. H. Broyles, Houston, Texas. 

" 'My dear Sir: It has just been called to my attention the 
action of the regular Republican executive committee of Har- 
ris County, wherein the county chairman, a Mr. Noah Allen, 
tendered his resignation, and in so doing wantonly attacked 
me, and you so ably defended me in my political course in 
Texas. I desire to thank you and make public acknowledge- 
ment of the same, and in the meantime I would be glad if 
you would advise me privately or publicly who Noah Allen is. 

" 'Since you took the liberty to defend me in my absence, 
and at a place that I could not be and in person resent the false 
and slanderous remarks against me, I think it but fair for me 
to state that in 1896 I voted and worked for Culberson as 
against J. C. Kirby, the Populist candidate for governor of 
Texas, who had the indorsement of the Republican campaign 
or plenary committee, composed of ten members, I myself be- 
ing one of the ten. This committee was given plenary power 
by the state convention to conduct a Republican canvass and not 
a Populistic canvass. After the committee was organized five 
of the ten voted to indorse J. C. Kirby, four of us voted against 
such an indorsement. E. H. R. Green, the chairman of the 



POLITICAL CAREER 131 

committee, did not vote, he being away in New York. I re- 
fused to be thus delivered to the Populist party and did what 
I could to defeat the combine by voting and working for Mr. 
Culberson. Under the same circumstances, I would do the 
same thing again today. The leaders and managers of that 
campaign are all living and in Texas today, and I can say with 
my hand on my heart that I did not have the promise nor did 
I receive one cent for my service rendered in that campaign, 
but, on the contrary, paid out of my own pocket, as I have done 
in all political campaigns in which I took part, my own entire 
expenses. The Democrats that managed and led the campaign 
of 1896, and with whom I co-operated against the Populist, 
were Hon. J. W. Blake of Mexia, Hon. McClain, Hon. O. B. 
Colquitt, Major J. S. Grinnan, Hon. H. Abies, all of Terrell, 
and Dr. C. M. Rosser of Dallas, Texas. The men are not 
only the leading citizens of Texas, but they are among the 
leading men of the entire South. Each of them will testify 
that I never asked for, nor did I receive, one cent for expenses 
or otherwise for services rendered in the Culberson campaign 
of 1896. 

" 'The next malicious and willful lie that is circulated in 
Texas to do me harm is that I "am pulling the leg of E. H. R. 
Green and put money obtained from him to my own use." 
Fortunately for all, Mr. E. H. R. Green lives in Texas, and 
all know that he is easily reached, and I desire to state that I 
have never received a five-cent piece for political service from 
E. H. R. Green, with which to pay my own personal expenses 
or influence my action in Republican politics, in all my life, 
and to this statement Mr. Green will testify an any court in 
the land. 

" 'No man who loves right and performs his duty can be 
expected to escape abuse and slander. There is no doubt but 
that I have received my share of it, and there is less hope of 
my escaping it so long as I attempt to defend the history, 
tradition and fundamental principles of the Republican party 
against the spoilation of the lily-white office holders' trust. 
Malice nestling in the bosom of envy, spite lurking in the 
hearts of jealousy, hate ranting in the heart of disappointment, 



132 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

find the tongue of slander a most convenient tool by which to 
lap the cankerous slime of falsehood and send it forth to you 
as my friend. Justice is all I ask. For those who have fabri- 
cated and uttered the false accusations for low and ignoble 
purposes, I have only boundless scorn and contempt. Let them 
understand now and f orevermore that they have not alarmed 
me; they can not intimidate me. I defy their malice as I 
loathe their mendacity, and I bring them this day to the bar of 
public opinion, and in the presence of all the citizens of Texas, 
I charge them as base political conspirators, fabricating slanders 
for foul and ignoble ends. I have the private and public 
records of them all, and I am ready to meet that issue when- 
ever and wherever it may be necessary or desired. 

" 'Sincerely yours, 
"'Terrell, Texas. Wm. M. McDonald/ » 

When McDonald's position on state politics was 
known in 1896, many requests for public speeches came 
to him from all sections of the state. It was impossible 
for him to accept all of the invitations. In many of 
the counties and cities he had made political speeches. 
He had advocated the election of candidates of the Re- 
publican party. That year he was still a Republican, 
but since his party did not agree on a man as standard- 
bearer, he felt that he owed much to the state and his 
fellow citizens and for the good of all supported Gov- 
ernor Culberson. 

Hear him as he opens his campaign in Dallas, October 
1, 1896. Thousands were present. Democrats, Repub- 
licans, Populists, men of all faiths and parties were 
present. Before one of the largest political gatherings 
in the history of Dallas, after hundreds had been turned 
away because of lack of room to accommodate all who 
wanted to hear him, the leader of the Republican party 



POLITICAL CAREER 133 

in Texas, the man of the hour, William M. McDonald, 
spoke as follows: 

w. m. Mcdonald's speech 



Why a Colored Leader Is Supporting Gov. C. A. 

Culberson. 



The Governor Has at All Times Represented the 

Great Masses of the People and Has 

Enforced All Laws. 



"DALLAS, Texas., Oct. 1. — The following address by W. 
M. McDonald, of Kaufman County, was delivered here 
tonight before a large and enthusiastic crowd: 

" 'Gentlemen and Fellow-Citizens : It so happened that 
in the first speech, the very first public speech I ever made, I 
took occasion to defend the history and principles of the Re- 
publican party. I did this because I had read a little some- 
thing of the history of my country. I did it because I felt 
indebted to that party for the liberty I then enjoyed for 
whatever principles may be true. Ingratitude is the blackest 
of crimes, and whether there be a God in heaven or not, in 
every star that shines gratitude is the brilliant virtue. I am 
a Republican. In the Republican party there are no followers 5 
we are all leaders. There is not a party chain and not a party 
lash. Any man who does not love his country, any man who 
does not love liberty, any man who is not in favor of human 
progress, w T ho is not in favor of giving to others all he claims 
for himself, we don't ask him to vote the Republican ticket. 
I am a Republican because that party believes in free labor. 
It believes that free labor will give us wealth. 

" 'Now, I am not going to say a word tonight that every 
Populist and Democrat will not know is true, and whatever he 
may say with his mouth I will compel him in his heart to 
give three cheers. 

" 'I wish to admit that the Republican party is not absolutely 



134 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

perfect. While I believe it is the best party that ever existed, 
while I believe it has within its organization more heart, more 
brain, and more patriotism than any other political organiza- 
tion beneath the sun, I still admit that it is not absolutely 
perfect. I admit that in its great things, in its splendid efforts 
to preserve this nation, in its grand efforts to keep our flag 
unfurled, in its magnificent efforts to free four millions of 
slaves, in its great and sublime effort to save the financial 
credit of this nation, I admit that it has made some mistakes. 
In its great efforts to do right, it has sometimes, by mistake, 
done wrong. 

" 'And I also wish to admit that the great Democratic party 
in its effort to control the government has sometimes, by mis- 
take, done right. 

" 'Now, my friends, I have said a few things to you about 
the Republican party, and I want to add that its platform is 
as broad as humanity. It is broad enough for the sound money 
Democrats and it is broad enough for the regular Democracy. 
It is even broad enough for the tramping Populists, provided 
they are in favor of the eternal political equality and of human 
rights. And the Republican party, in its magnanimity is will- 
ing that every man should vote its ticket, but it can not stoop 
in order to gain those votes. The great party such as this must 
either preserve its dignity and integrity or quit business. It can 
not afford to trade and traffic. It can not afford to deceive 
those who trust it. What it does it must do as a matter of 
principle in the open field and in the sight of all men. It can 
not afford to blindly follow a course that can not bear the light 
of day; it can not afford to ask its members to sacrifice principle 
even for a prospect of ultimate success. These things being 
true, every man has a right to know in advance the line on 
which battles are to be fought and no important decision should 
be left to all-powerful committees. 

" C I am here tonight to protest against the determination of 
such a committee to manipulate the rank and file of my party 
in favor of the worst political organization ever known to 
the history of this nation, and against a state administration 
which, in my humble judgment, has proven itself to be the 



POLITICAL CAREER 135 

wisest, most conservative and most patriotic during our day 
and time. If it was believed necessary for any good purpose 
that the Republican party of Texas should combine its vote 
in order to defeat the present state administration and put the 
Populists in office, a motion to that effect should have been 
made in the open convention at Fort Worth, where it could 
have been discussed and decided upon by the representatives 
of Republican citizens of Texas. I boldly assert that in my 
opinion no such proposition could have been maintained before 
that convention, and that the election of a plenary committee 
which it was understood was not formed for the purpose of 
betraying the party in support of principles that have always 
been denounced as unsafe and dangerous, was not done for the 
purpose of selling ourselves to the Populist party in the vain 
hope of overturning a majority which is known to be against 
us in this state. I for one am not willing to be delivered, and 
I believe that as good citizens who desire to preserve the good 
and discourage the bad, the great majority of honest Repub- 
licans in this state will make an independent choice and that 
the result will be an overwhelming defeat of Populism on 
the third of November. I hold that we have a right as Re- 
publicans to make this choice, for the Republican party, in not 
nominating a regular ticket, turned us loose to vote as we 
pleased in state matters, as we believe to be best for our state 
and for our own families. 

" 'Every sensible man knows that the election this year will 
result in either Culberson or Kearby for governor. One is 
put forward by the Democratic party upon his magnificent 
record and the other is nominated by the Populist party. 
Neither of these candidates belong to our party. They both 
represent principles which our party has from time to time de- 
nounced in every term known to the English language. We 
have denounced through our national and state plat- 
forms; we have denounced them from the public stump, but 
today Texas Republicans have got to choose between these two 
gentlemen. We have come to the point where the question is 
asked, as between Culberson and Kearby, which will you take? 
I answer without any mental reservation or hesitation, I shall 



136 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

take Culberson. Other men may cast their ballots for Mc- 
Kinley and Kearby, but I shall cast my vote for McKinley 
and Culberson. Now the die is cast, I have crossed the river 
and I am ready to meet the issue anywhere. Upon this issue 
I stake my political life, both state and national. 

" 'Now the man who will tell the truth about the dead is 
a good man for one, I intend to tell you just as nearly as I 
can the truth about a dead political party. Most political 
records consist in giving the details of things that never hap- 
pened j most political speeches are lies coming from the mouth 
of flattery or a slander from the lips of malice, and whoever 
attacks the political record of a party will in his turn be 
attacked. Whoever attacks the political deception, demagogy 
and double dealings will find these things defended by all 
manner of ingenuity. In this state contest we have not only 
to choose between parties to neither of which we belong, but 
also between candidates, and it is right that we should inquire 
and that we should know the political character of the two 
men who head these tickets. Remember that you can not 
make character in a day, you can not make a reputation by 
passing resolutions. If you could you could reform Dallas 
County's poor farm and all the jail houses in this country in 
fifteen minutes, you could even make a good party and a 
safe party out of the Populist party. But the question now is, 
what have these two gentlemen been doing, not what do they 
say now. That may help to make them a character twenty 
years hence, but what have they been doing for the last twenty 
years? We find the Hon. Charles A. Culberson an upright 
gentleman and a consistent Democrat. We see him begin his 
public and political career as county attorney of Marion 
County, where he had lived nearly all his life. Go to Marion 
County and put colored men upon the stand and hear their 
testimony: "Charlie Culberson was county attorney here for 
a number of years ; he was always on the side of justice and 
law, regardless of whose interests were involved," and the 
political record of that county corroborates the testimony of 
my race. We next find him as one of the leading practitioners 
of law in the city of Dallas, where he was busy with large 
affairs until called to the service of the state in the capacity of 



POLITICAL CAREER 137 

its legal adviser. His record there as attorney general is an 
open book for Texans to read; in that capacity no one has ren- 
dered the state more valuable service. We next see him pro- 
moted to the governorship of our great empire state, when 
an enormous public debt of a million dollars was hanging over 
us. School teachers were compelled to work hard and be paid 
in almost worthless script. When he took the reins of office 
the banks would absolutely refuse to advance money on a 
school voucher. We were all complaining of hard times, but 
now the state is on a spot cash basis. When the thugs and 
pugs and fighters of all shades were building a great hall in 
this city for the purpose of debauching the morals of our 
people, it was Governor Culberson who drew the line at our 
state border and said: "Thus far shalt thou come, and no 
farther," and when they defied the majesty of our laws it was 
the deadly dagger of Culberson that pierced their heartless 
breast. Livid with hatred, this howling crowd have assailed 
him with misrepresentations and downright slander, and the 
echo has been taken up by ignorant classes, both white and 
black. As a man who loves justice, as a man who loves right, 
as a man who loves peace and law and liberty, I am before you 
tonight, believing that you will not join this howling mob. 

" 'What can be said of Candidate Kearbyr He has been a 
consistent growler, kicker and flopper. The most of his 
political life has been spent in the "free state of Van Zandt," 
and is, therefore, largely lost to mankind. What has he been 
doing while Governor Culberson has been making his brilliant 
record? He was practicing law in Dallas County, def ending- 
criminals. Now I would vote for Governor Culberson if I 
had nothing but their professional records to guide me, to say 
nothing of the platforms on which these gentlemen are 
running. 

1 'Taken single, or as a whole, there is nothing in the Pop- 
ulist platform that I indorse. There is nothing I indorse in 
its platform proper or the miscellaneous demands, favors, 
declares and condemns, while on the other hand there are 
many things in the state Democratic platform that are. to the 
interests of every citizen and to the best welfare of my race and 



138 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

people. Look at sections 14 and 16 and see the pledges that 
are made to protect the laborer and to upbuild the colored 
educational institutions of the state. 

" 'There are also several planks in the national platform 
that we must all indorse. That platform declares against life 
tenure in office and for civil service reform, which is a proper 
stimulant to ambitious efforts on the part of all classes of 
citizens. 

" 'We should vote right in this contest. We should vote 
our own sentiments and in line with our best interests, inde- 
pendent of the dictation of any plenary committee, no matter 
how formed or for what purpose. A man who will sell his 
vote or trade his vote, or allow himself traded off by others, 
strips himself of his own manhood and becomes worse than a 
slave. More than that, a man who will be guided by prejudice 
against his own interests, who will be fooled out of his vote, 
who will be lied out of his vote, or slandered out of his vote, 
should be led around by the nose the balance of his natural 
life, and when this is over the papers should say a faithful 
but foolish dog is dead. Let us have no quarrels with those 
who wish to vote for McKinley and Kearby. Let others do 
as they wish, but stand up like a man and look them straight 
in the eye and tell them that while as a loyal Republican you 
will vote for McKinley, that as a good citizen and a man who 
wants to promote good government at home, that you will 
cast your vote for Culberson and his ticket. Now I beg each 
of you to leave alone this political trade, which can serve no 
good purpose, and vote against Populism wherever you find 
it; vote against it for political reasons; vote against it for bus- 
iness reasons; vote against it for religious reasons; vote against 
it because their leaders are incapable of controlling so import- 
ant a thing as the government of this great state. I tell you 
there is something splendid in a man that will not always 
mind and obey. Why, if we had done as the kings told us 
a few hundred years ago, we would have all been slaves, both 
white and black. If we had done as the priest told us we 
would have been moral fools. If we had done as the doctors 
told us five hundred years ago we would all have been dead. 



POLITICAL CAREER 139 

" 'We have been saved by disobedience. We have been 
saved by that splendid virtue called independence, and I want 
to see every man grow to be independent of a senseless party 
chain and the domniation of a party boss, and I desire it under- 
stood that I for one don't intend to submit to a white political 
boss after long years of political warfare against a so-called 
black political boss. 

" 'Let men charge Cuney with what they will or may, can- 
dor will force them to admit that if he was a boss he was 
always brave and manly. He would pitch his line of fight 
in a straightforward and open manner and ask a majority of 
the people's representatives to indorse his course. This was 
manly, this was heroic and brave. Never in the history of his 
life did Cuney hide himself behind the powers of a plenary 
committee. Take the indorsement of Marion Martin, of Sul 
Ross and George Clark by the Republican party ; this is work 
credited directly to N. W. Cuney, and all of these battles were 
fought in open convention called for that purpose and before 
the representatives of the people. He made his fights without 
the influence of foreign funds or of imported political advisers. 
But now comes "Boss" Grant, who seeks to turn us all over 
under cover of a plenary committee to the Populist party, 
which we regard as unsafe and to each principle of which we 
are directly opposed, without even the benefit of a clergy. 

" c Now they will tell you that if you do not vote as you 
are told to vote by the "boss" that you are not a good Repub- 
lican, nor a man. Tell them that you have loved the Repub- 
lican party because it has neither compromised with the Pop- 
ulist party nor with the devil, and when the time comes that 
it must compromise with the Populist party or die, then it 
ought to die at a time when it can yet go home to glory and 
say I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith. 

" 'The Populist party comes before you and asks that you 
will give this government in its hands, and you have a right 
to know the character of its organization. The Populist party 
says let bygones be bygones. I never knew a man who did a 
decent action that he wanted it forgotten. I never knew a 
man who could point to a great and shining light of self- 



HO BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

sacrifice and heroic devotion and wanted it turned lower. But 
whenever a man does an infamous thing or commits a crime 
the memory of which could mantle the cheeks of his children 
with shame, he says "let bygones be bygones." 

" 'The Populist party does not admit it, but it has a record. 
It is not a brilliant one, and one that a gentleman might be 
proud of. I will not tell it to you because I like to do it, but 
because it is a public necessity. I give it to you because it em- 
braces within its ragged arms all the Negro haters, all the 
disgruntled soreheads and office seekers from other political 
organizations. I claim that every enemy that this government 
has had and that my race has had for the last twenty-five years 
is a Populist or one who is strongly thinking of joining that 
party. 

" 'Every man who regrets that the institution of slavery 
has been abolished and who is yet still shedding tears over the 
corpse of human slavery is either a Populist or is intending to 
join that party. The Populist party is a political tramp. In 
Texas they are not only tramping, but they are political 
orphans, having repudiated the action of their mother. From 
the middle of the road we hear the cry of their hungry 
leaders: "Give us Jerome Kearby, Barney Gibbs and Cyclone 
Davis, and we care nothing for the principles which we have 
advocated since our existence." They yell, "No Watson, no 
Bryan," so that we can all hear it, which means to us that if 
we will vote for their state ticket that they will deliver to us 
a great school of suckers to aid us in a futile attempt to carry 
a Democratic state for the Republican national ticket. The 
Populist party are begging for official food; it has not had a 
bite to eat since it has been born. The average party leader 
carries in his empty pocket old scraps of dirty paper as a certifi- 
cate of character. On one of these papers he will have the 
ordinance of 1812, and on the other a part of the fugitive 
slave law, and sometimes a copy of one of the numerous letters 
from Hon. Barnett Gibbs which he wrote to the Democratic 
party before he knew how the Chicago convention was going 
to declare on the money question. In the other pocket will be 
a certificate signed by Chairman McGregor of the "lily white 
party," stating that the Republican party of Texas is too rank 



POLITICAL CAREER 141 

to associate with, and this certificate will be indorsed by James 
Newcomb and by my old friend, Melvin Wade. He will 
sometimes produce a scrap of paper showing a statement sup- 
posed to have been written by Abe Lincoln and claiming that 
the Republican party when first named was done so by mis- 
take, as it intended to be called the Populist or third party. 
Following this hungry-looking fellow will be a hungry-look- 
ing hound, and when he asks for food the hound will sit down 
close by and the droll of anticipation will run from his loose 
and haggard lips. Study the expression of that dog. Trans- 
late it into English, and it means give my boss a piece of pie 
and "give me a bite of nigger." 

" 'The question is, are we willing that that fellow and that 
dog shall get possession of a capitol. The people of all this 
nation will look out for Washington and we will do duty at 
home by protecting the departments at Austin and our insti- 
tutions, both educational and benevolent, located throughout 
the state. 5 " 

The preceding speech was delivered to one of the most 
enthusiastic political gatherings in the history of the 
Lone Star State. Populists, Republicans and Democrats 
were there. Populists were hopeful that Mr. McDon- 
ald, like many of the other Republicans, would support 
their cause; Republicans were there to see what course 
their leader would take; Democrats, with outstretched 
hands, were there to welcome the political Moses of the 
black folks. 

The orator was at his best and easily carried all before 
him. There are many living in Dallas today who heard 
the orator and they are firm in the opinion that it was 
the turning point in the campaign. So great was the 
impression made upon the leading Democrats of the 
state, that thousands of copies of the speech were printed 
and used as campaign literature all over the state. That 
speech alone won more votes for the Democratic nom- 



142 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

inee than any other single deliverance. Many years 
before the deliverance of the speech for Governor Cul- 
berson, the Republicans, both black and white, had 
looked upon Mr. McDonald as the leading platform 
orator of the Southwest; now he had won the Demo- 
crats all hailed him as the greatest politician of the state. 

My dear reader, you must not conclude that this dis- 
tinguished man is a Democrat. There is not a better 
Republican in America. Like many of the most pat- 
riotic citizens of this country, he stood upon principles. 
He advocated the cause of a man who had a record and 
could do most for the people of his state. The time has 
come when all right thinking men and women must 
stand upon principle and vote for those measures which 
are for the best interests of all the people. Those meas- 
ures may be in the platform of either party. We must 
look beyond men and vote for those things they rep- 
resent. 

In 1896 there were those who advocated some very 
objectionable measures, such as the "Grandfather 
Clause, Separate School Tax, Educational Test for 
Voters." Mr. McDonald having supported the Demo- 
cratic ticket, was in position to make some requests upon 
the state authorities. His objection to separate school 
taxes, namely that all money collected from colored 
people for school purposes would be used for the educa- 
tion of Negro children; all money from white taxpayers 
for school purposes would be used for the education of 
white children; resulted in a law that each voter pay 
$1.75 poll tax. One dollar of the amount goes for 
educational purposes. 

Realizing the importance of better trained men and 



POLITICAL CAREER 143 

women in the Negro race, and desiring an institution 
comparable with the best in other states, McDonald 
caused his Democratic friends who were the real leaders 
of Texas to favor the donation of 50,000 acres of land 
to be used exclusively for a Negro State University. 
When Mr. Culberson became governor, he had the prop- 
osition enacted into law. It is to be regretted that the 
colored educators of the state did not back McDonald 
in this undertaking. 

Another thing worthy of mention, as a result of his 
support of Governor Culberson is the fact that his 
appeals to the chief executive of the state for those who 
were in prison were given due consideration. Several 
colored soldiers serving 99 years in the state penitentiary 
owe their freedom to the faithful solicitations of Mc- 
Donald. Others too numerous to mention are today free 
men and women as a result of his wisdom and fore- 
sight. 

In 1897 Mr. McDonald signed a contract with Hon. 
E. H. R. Green, son of Hetty Green, the famous cap- 
italist of New York, to serve as his private secretary. 
Mr. Green was president of the Texas Midland Rail- 
road, as well as chairman of the Republican State Exec- 
utive Comittee. Mr. Green had the money and Mr. 
McDonald the political brains and they two controlled 
the Republican destiny of Texas for a number of years, 

Mr. McDonald has never accepted a public office of 
any kind. It is true, however, that several of the pres- 
idents of the United States have tendered him important 
posts, such as recorder of deeds for the District of Co- 
lumbia, as Minister to Liberia, and Collector of Ports, 
still he has refused them all. So no one can claim that 



144 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

what he did for the Grand Old Party was for self- 
aggrandizement. His efforts were for the good of his 
party, his race, his state, his country. 

He has retired from politics now. But during his 
political career, in his native county, his state and in the 
nation, he fought a good fight. For thirty years, from 
1890 to 1920, he was a known quantity in the political 
equation of both state and nation. During those years 
around the star-emblazoned banner of the nation have 
ebbed and flowed the fluctuating tide of many a battle. 
He has battled supremely against all sinister comers. He 
has championed the cause of humanity. If, at any time, 
the white-plumed flag of public good, held in his hands, 
went down in defeat, it was never once furled in the face 
of fear, never once folded at the feet of favors, nor 
dragged in the dust of dishonor. Unlike many of our 
political leaders, McDonald has looked beyond the 
emoluments of office and served his state and nation for 
the good of humanity. 

Upon his broad shoulders the Republicans of his 
native state, placed the toga of their confidence and he 
never once forgot their interest. He has been fearless 
and honest and upright. He has dared to do right and 
that which he thought was for the best interest of his 
state. He has the consciousness of having done his best 
and awaits the call of the Supreme Father. 

At all times Mr. McDonald has had the courage of 
his convictions. Most of the leading newspapers of 
Texas, from time to time, have published articles from 
his pen. He has not failed to let the world know his 
political views at all times. On November 11, 1918, 
he wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as follows: 




R. B. Goosby 
Leading Texas Politician — An Old Friend 



POLITICAL CAREER 145 

"Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 11, 1918. 

"To the Editor, The Star-Telegram : 

"Now that the election is over, the Kaiser smashed, peace in 
sight and the mighty invincible army mobilized by the Amer- 
ican government little more than a year ago will soon be trans- 
ferred back to civil life, something may be said in perfectly 
good faith without heat and the charge of party bias. 

"There are those who pretend to see in the results of the 
recent election an indorsement of Mr. Roosevelt and Senator 
Lodge and the repudiation of President Wilson. Those who 
believe and interpret the results of the recent election to mean 
that the president's war measures, or the doctrine that all 
people should be allowed to participate in government and 
enjoy the blessings of Democracy 5 or the 14 points set down 
by the president as a basis for peace negotiations, have been 
repudiated draw a hasty conclusion without taking into con- 
sideration the significance of the way the electors voted in the 
different states. 

"True, Mr. Roosevelt did criticize the administration sharp- 
ly and Senator Lodge viewed with alarm the course adopted 
by the president to obtain peace ; but neither what Mr. Roose- 
velt or Senator Lodge said seems to have had any effect what- 
ever with the voters of their own states, and this does not 
show that they were stronger with New York and Massachu- 
setts electors than President Wilson. In the election of a 
Republican House and Senate the people gave the strongest 
possible indorsement of the president's war measures and 
sentiments, which maintain the morale of all the people during 
the war. Republican electors have always stood for Democ- 
racy as against aristocracy in every section of the Union as well 
as the wide world over. Republican electors have stood for 
human rights and liberties and advocated such government 
measures and policies that would advance the peace and happi- 
ness of the toiling masses and never have sought to array class 
against class or race against race. Regardless of what Mr. 
Roosevelt may have said in his personal attack upon President 
Wilson, Republican representatives and electors stood for all 
of President Wilson's great war measures and backed him with 



146 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

their lives, money and votes. The election returns revealed the 
fact that Democratic representatives and electors refused to 
sustain both in Congress and at the polls President Wilson's 
war measure in regard to woman suffrage. Louisiana and 
Oklahoma electors voted down measures which the President 
defined war measures. And the Democratic party refused to 
take advantage of the President's leadership and prestige the 
conduct of the war gave them. They did not measure up the 
high, patriotic ideals and progressive ideas the President set 
and marked out for them. The great majority of people and 
representatives who denominate themselves Republicans 
favored and voted for all the war measures and ideals of Presi- 
dent Wilson and were fundamentally in accord with him. A 
powerful minority of people and representatives who denomi- 
nate themselves Democrats opposed and voted against many 
of the war measures and ideals of President Wilson. The 
Democratic party lost the election because it, as a party, was 
charged with the sacred trust and responsibility of putting on 
the statute books every measure recommended by the Presi- 
dent to Congress as a war measure and to uphold every Ameri- 
can ideal which would demonstrate the moral ideas of the 
American people, but it refused to do so, and in this way, as 
a party, repudiated the President. The country therefore re- 
pudiated the Democratic party. In other words, the Demo- 
cratic party lost because the people could not trust it to stand 
by the President to give to the American people the full fruits 
of what our soldiers were fighting for in Europe. 

"Did the electors in New York by electing Mr. Smith for 
Governor and defeating Mr. Whitman endorse Mr. Roose- 
velt or repudiate President Wilson? Did Massachusetts by 
defeating Senator Weeks endorse Senator Lodge or repudiate 
President Wilson? Illinois and Michigan are as truly Repub- 
lican as Texas is Democratic. In Illinois Mr. Medill McCor- 
mick had the support and backing of Mr. Roosevelt and Sen- 
ator Lodge. Mr. McCormick is known to be the undergrad- 
uate of Messrs. Roosevelt and Lodge. Mr. McCormick 
should have carried the state of Illinois by 200,000. He car- 
ried it by only 60,000. In the nature of things this is a 



POLITICAL CAREER 147 

very weak Roosevelt-Lodge endorsement, if any endorsement 
at all. Certainly it can be no repudiation of the President, 
because Mr. McCormick stands for the war measures and 
ideals of the President. In Michigan the results of the 
election is no repudiation of President Wilson's war measures 
or peace terms. 

"Mr. Ford is a Republican, so is Mr. Newbery. Both were 
pledged to support the war measures and peace terms of the 
President. It does not appear to me that the war measures 
of the President were repudiated in Michigan. 

"Now as to the government ownership of all public serving 
corporations, the problems of taxation, high tariff or free trade, 
adjusting the war scale of wages to a peace scale of wages, 
mustering out of service soldiers, determining the status of the 
Army and Navy and putting the country on an economical and 
financial basis, are all questions separate and distinct from war 
measures. All of these far-reaching problems which will come 
to the American people by reason of our own social and eco- 
nomic conditions and of the question growing out of the world- 
wide war will not be settled this way or that way because Mr. 
Roosevelt advocates them nor because Mr. Wilson may happen 
to oppose them, but because this way or that way appeals to 
the great majority of the toiling masses belonging to this or 
that party as a correct way to solve the problems. To differ 
from the President on these questions can hardly be construed 
to be opposing war measures or peace terms. The charge or 
accusation which might stand against the President is this: 
He attempted to keep the Democratic party in power, regard- 
less of the fact that the Democratic party as an organized unit 
had differed from and stood against him and the Republican 
party on measures which he had so patriotically defined war 
measures. 

"In attempting to bring the American electors to the con- 
clusion that to elect a Democratic House and Senate was a war 
measure or essential to conclude peace he failed, but in this 
failure not a single one of his war measures or the fourteen 
points laid down as a basis for peace were repudiated. Much 
talk has been put forward as an aftermath of the election as 



148 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to who will be the standard bearers of the Republican and 
Democratic parties in 1920. All said on the subject is mere 
speculation. From my viewpoint it will not be Mr. Roose- 
velt or President Wilson. This much should be said of Presi- 
dent Wilson: He took foremost rank of all the statesmen of 
the world and his state papers will go down in history as the 
greatest documents ever issued (excepting the Declaration of 
Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation) by an ex- 
ponent of organized government in the history of the world. 
He has shown himself to be a friend of humanity and a firm 
believer in government by the consent of all the governed. 
He is a destroyer of thrones, a builder of republics and a true 
apostle of human rights and human liberties. He believes 
that all men, black or white, should have equal rights and 
exact justice before the law. He believes that all men, black 
or white, should have a right to labor and to enjoy the fruits 
of that labor. He has aroused the American people as they 
have not been before in fifty years by appealing to their 
reason, patriotism and high ideals. If his leadership and 
lofty sentiments are accepted by the Democratic party in good 
faith in state and nation, he has made it possible for black 
men to divide and become members of his party, North, West, 
East and South and to vote and work with the Democratic 
party, feeling that the Democratic party has no prescription 
for his body, no chains for his hands and no fetters for his soul. 

"In 1920 one of the greatest political battles in the history 
of the American republic will take place. Issues, policies and 
measures will be determined - y by the results of that battle more 
far-reaching and colossal than those determined by the results 
of the world-wide war, insofar as they will personally and 
vitally affect every man, woman and child in America. No 
government maintained without the consent of all the gov- 
erned can long endure, and sooner or later will be swept 
away. Let the leaders of the public thought in Texas be fore- 
most in their demands that all of the people of Texas as well 
as those of all the other states of the Union be given the right 
and allowed the privilege to enjoy the full fruits of what our 
soldiers fought and died for in Europe — the right of all to 



POLITICAL CAREER 149 

participate in government. In this way the color and race 
question will be removed from political questions. 

"Faithfully, 

"W. M. McDonald » 



CHAPTER X 

Burnett-McDonald Metaphysical Argument 

From time immemorial, since man began to think 
and reason, cause and effect have been investigated. 
Man is an important animal — the most important, the 
supreme work of the animal creation. He wants to 
know his origin and his end. He investigates. He 
questions himself. He draws his conclusions and stakes 
his all upon his findings. 

One of the largest jobs for man to master was to 
know himself. After years of study — from the first 
man to the present, a period, I am sure, of many million 
years — we must conclude that even in this advanced age 
there are many things concerning the human being be- 
yond our comprehension. 

With a fair knowledge of himself, man began to 
study the things about him. He analyzed his experi- 
ences. He investigated the science of being. He 
wanted to know the nature of being, the cause or genesis 
of things. He wanted to have an understanding con- 
cerning the very existence of God. This broad line of 
investigation has been termed metaphysics. 

The first man to gain world-wide fame as a meta- 
physician was Aristotle. In Greece, as in other parts 
of the world, his views were held, and are still held, in 
high regard in this particular science. In Germany 
the views of Schopenhauer, Kaut and Christian Wolff 
were accepted by the foremost students of this intricate 

151 



152 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

science. The analysis of experiences in the broad sense 
had as its leading exponent Bacon in England. America 
has produced a few metaphysicians whose thoughts have 
been accepted as clear conceptions of the underlying 
principles of this growing branch of knowledge. 

Like many of the great men who have attempted to 
explain the origin of things, and most of them wrote at 
leasure hours, McDonald has made some investigations 
and is willing to let a candid world know his ideas along 
metaphysical lines. Some years ago he and Professor 
W. H. Burnett engaged in a very heated discussion over 
the high-water marks in the field of this profound 
science. That you may fully understand, I give the 
arguments of both men. But first I ask a careful con- 
sideration of the history of the argument. 

History of the Argument 

In the fall of 1904 Professor W. H. Burnett and 
William M. McDonald discovered in their minds a 
country where all of its people were Christians. Those 
persons in charge of the government were fanatic Chris- 
tians. The school teachers, lawyers, doctors and men 
of all professions were bound to uphold the Christian 
faiths and no person was allowed to assent to any other 
creed or faith. 

To be permitted to practice law before the Christian 
courts of that country was not only an honor in the high- 
est degree, but was lucrative from a financial standpoint 
almost beyond estimate. 

Like all Christian countries, superstition reigned su- 
preme and the country swarmed with so-called Mind 
Readers, Magicians, Divine Healers and Fortune Tell- 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 153 

ers. The people were clannish not only in their religious 
views, but in their social relations, and, like all Christian 
races, were intolerant, egotistic and ignorant, who failed 
to respect their own laws, moral or civil. They were 
suspicious of every newcomer, but pretended to welcome 
in their midst every human being except those persons 
of black complexion, and these they would lynch, burn, 
harrass and humiliate on the slightest provocation, re- 
gardless of the fact that these black persons were Chris- 
tions, too. 

Wm. M. McDonald was a leading attorney in that 
country and was regarded as powerful and influential. 
He stood high and on the best terms with all. the Chris- 
tian courts. Professor W. H. Burnett wanted to be per- 
mitted to practice before the Christian courts. He was 
scholarly, studious, ambitious, refined and upright. The 
lawyers, and especially McDonald had his own secret 
motives why he did not wish Professor Burnett to prac- 
tice law before the courts. Hence he seeks out Tom 
Mind Reader (who was supposed to be able to read a 
person's mind and tell what he was thinking about), and 
through him had seven charges preferred against Pro- 
fessor W. H. Burnett, which he, according to the laws 
of that country, was called upon and required to answer. 
But the most cruel usage of the entire procedure was 
that Prof. Burnett was forced to defend his position in 
writing and the court had the power to appoint an attor- 
ney to review his answer and point out any and all 
illogical and untenable positions taken by Professor 
W. H. Burnett. Chief Justice John Christian appointed 
Wm. M. McDonald to review and prosecute Professor 
Burnett upon the charges of Tom Mind Reader. 



154 biography of w. m. mcdonald 

The Charges — The Order of the Chief Justice 
Burnett and McDonald's Argument 

Christian is defined for the purpose of this argument 
as one who believes in the Divinity of Christ and that 
the book commonly called the Bible is the word of God 
and that God is the Father of Christ and that Christ and 
the Holy Ghost are the equal of God and that the three 
are one and the same person. 

Burnett's Creed, Which He Believes When He 
Is to Himself — Just How He Reasons 

1. "It appears probable that W. H. BURNETT is 
living in a universe — a state in which all things are 
combined into one system, whose laws, that is, whose 
methods of movement are uniform. Matter and force 
are convertible terms; neither is possible or conceivable 
without the other. This universe — the region of con- 
sciousness — probably had no beginning and will have 
no end. Its beginning, like the end, is unthinkable. 
Therefore, I believe that W. H. BURNETT is a 
MONIST. 

2. "All knowledge came from experience and ob- 
servation. He believes in nothing but what he knows 
and in the conclusions logically derivable therefrom. He 
knows that he does not know anything concerning those 
matters about which nothing is known. When he vio- 
lates the laws of nature, he is punished by the automatic 
processes of nature and his prayer or profanity is alike 
futile. There may be in the infinite reaches of the 
universe any kind of God or Devil, Creator, Ruler, 
Destroyer, Satan, Beelzebub, Angels, Imps or Fairies, 
but he has no knowledge of such beings and there is 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 155 

apparently no way of obtaining information concerning 
them. Therefore, I believe W. H. BURNETT is an 
AGNOSTIC. 

"3. An act which does more good than harm to all 
whom it in any way effects is always a good act, and to 
do it is always right. When a man does injury to his 
neighbor, he will find it personally advantageous to 
modify his conduct and to do good to his neighbor; for 
only thus can he help to establish a habit among men 
which will insure to his own comfort, and enjoy that 
highest pleasure which results from giving pleasure to 
others. Therefore, I believe W. H. BURNETT is a 
UTILITARIAN. 

"4. W. H. Burnett does not know whether men, ani- 
mals, or vegetables consciously survive the great change 
which he calls "death;" the results of careful scientific 
observation seem to indicate that they do not. That 
miracles have ever been performed, there is no proof 
whatever. The Bible is a crude and erroneous history 
of the works, bestiality, family quarrels, crimes, hopes, 
fears, loves, and hates of a cruel, ignorant, superstitious 
and barbarous age. Therefore I believe W. H. BUR- 
NETT is an INFIDEL. 

"5' W. H. Burnett does not employ theological 
terms to describe human conduct; because they refer to 
an imaginary Deity to whom it is claimed he owes obedi- 
ence. W. H. Burnett knows what a misdemeanor is 
and what a crime is, but he does not know what sin is. 
Faith seems to be little more than confidence in the 
unknown. W. H. Burnett knows what justice is, what 
love is, what equity is, what honesty is, what mercy is, 
what humanity is, but he does not know what Holiness 



156 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

or Piety is. A man can be upright, but W. H. Burnett 
does not know how he can be religious, if that word de- 
fines his relation to the supernatural of which he does 
not know anything. An offender can make restitution, 
reparation and reimbursement to his brother, but peni- 
tence is of no consequence whatever, except as it effect 
subsequent conduct. Repentance is not retroactive; it 
looks only to the future. Therefore I believe that W. 
H. BURNETT is a RATIONALIST. 

"6. W. H. Burnett leaves dogmatism to those who 
are happy only when they are on a crusade — he holds 
that it is wise to make the best of circumstances as they 
arise and effect changes when conditions are favorable 
and not to grumble about what cannot be helped. There- 
fore, I believe W. H. BURNETT is an OPPOR- 
TUNIST. 

"7. Man is the child of two obvious and omnipotent 
creators — Heredity and Environment. They give him 
birth, they escort him from the cradle to the grave, they 
form and inform and transform him, they fill him with 
needs and desires, they endow him with purposes, pre- 
judices and principles and therefore the idea that he is 
a free agent and can do differently from what he does — 
do seem to be a hallucination whose chief function it is 
to minister to his egotism. Therefore, I believe W. H. 
BURNETT is a DETERMINIST. 

"8. Now, Mr. W. H. Burnett, if you are a MON- 
IST, an AGNOSTIC, a UTILITARIAN, an INFI- 
DEL, a RATIONALIST, an OPPORTUNIST, and 
a DETERMINIST, as you have clearly proven your- 
self to be by your numerous private conversations which 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 157 

the accuser has heard you make 5 when and at what time 
will you be a CHRISTIAN? 

I have filed seven (7) specific counts or indictments 
against you and have prayed the "COURT" that you 
be ordered to file your written denial of each count 
which will set forth your correct views on the subjects 
specified; requiring you at the same time to demonstrate 
the fact that you are a CHRISTIAN. 

Tom Mind Reader, 

Accuser. 



CHRISTIAN WORLD 

vs. 
PROF. W. H. BURNETT. 

Terrell, Texas, Dec. 16, A. D. 1904. 
Know All Men By These Presents: Whereas 
Prof. W. H. Burnett of Terrell, Kaufman County, 
Texas, has duly filed an application praying to be given 
license to practice law in this Christian Court; and 

Whereas, no person who is proven not to be a Chris- 
tian either by words, spoken in private conversation, or 
thoughts expressed by signs, or written, or overt acts, 
or in any way by which thoughts can be conveyed to 
the second person ; and 

Whereas, Tom Mind Reader has filed this 16th day 
of December, A. D. 1908, a petition praying the Court 
to refuse the said Prof. W. H. Burnett a license to 
practice in this Christian Court on the ground that the 
said Prof. W. H. Burnett is either a MONIST, or an 
AGNOSTIC, or a UTILITARIAN, or an INFIDEL, 
or a RATIONALIST, or an OPPORTUNIST, or a 
DETERMINIST and not a CHRISTAN; and 



158 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Whereas, if the said W. H. Burnett is either a MON- 
IST, an AGNOSTIC, UTILITARIAN, an INFI- 
DEL, RATIONALIST, an OPPORTUNIST, or a 
DETERMINIST, he the said Prof. W. H. Burnett is 
not a Christian. 

Now, therefore, by the power in me vested, it is 
ordered and decreed that the said Prof. W. H. Burnett 
shall file or appear in person before this Court on the 
16th day of January, A. D. 1905, and give written 
answers setting forth and clearly defining his position, 
beliefs, and opinion on the seven (7) indictments, giv- 
ing a detail statement of what his position is on each 
separate count. 

In testimony whereof, I have signed my name this 
16th day of December, A. D. 1908, and caused the 
great seal of the Christian World to be affixed. 

John Christian, 

Chief Justice. 

In Chambers, Terrell, Texas, Dec. 17, 1908. 
Wm. M. McDonald, you are hereby notified that the 
case of the Christian World vs. Prof. W. H. Burnett 
is set down for hearing on January 16th, A. D. 1909. 
You will therefore be present and review the said W. H. 
Burnett's answer, thereby assisting the Court to render 
a decision just to both the Christian World and Prof. 
W. H. Burnett. 

John Christian, 

Chief Justice. 



BURNETT'S DENIAL OR ANSWER. 

"There are many things in each of the specific 
doctrinal charges with which the writer fully agrees, 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 159 

but there are others whose vital importance overshadow 
all other points in each charge with which the writer 
CANNOT agree. 

"In each charge there is a subtle, suicidal FALLACY 
that invalidates the conclusiveness of each doctrinal im- 
putation. 

We will therefore attempt to expose them. 

DENIES BEING A MONIST. 

"1. That there is universal law no one ought to 
deny. But since THERE IS UNIVERSAL LAW, 
there must necessarily be a UNIVERSAL LAW- 
GIVER. 

"Since these laws are 'UNIFORM' then there 
MUST have been omniscient design or else the uni- 
formity could not be UNIVERSAL, which supposition 
is CONTRARY to your HYPOTHESIS. And since 
there can be no design without a DESIGNER, then this 
lawgiver must be that Designer. 

"Now, since these 'LAWS' cannot have created them- 
selves (inasmuch as C LAW' is abstract and therefore 
has no existence apart from some concrete), the orig- 
inator of these laws must have had perfect foresight and 
absolute freedom. And hence compulsion is no part of 
the creative act. Furthermore in every department of 
nature, there is a wise adaptation of means to an end 
or ends; otherwise it would be impossible for the human 
mind to trace a single principle; if the laws were not 
systematically harmonized, then we could form no sys- 
tems of science, philosophy or government. From these 
considerations, it must appear that the Lawgiver existed 



160 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

BEFORE MATTER FOR WHICH these 'LAWS' 
were formulated and fixed. 

Therefore, 'Matter and force are convertible terms' 
ONLY when applied to human knowledge , for if the 
Lawgiver did not ORIGINATE matter, he could not 
have fixed its 'UNIFORM LAWS.' Then the UNI- 
VERSE of matter MUST have had a beginning or else 
it prevents the awful, incredible case of an unconscious 
nothing becoming by self -causation (a contradiction in 
terms), a conscious SOMETHING and fixing INTEL- 
LIGENTLY its own laws during its evolution. True 
its beginning (so far as time and mode are concerned) 
may be 'unthinkable' to the finite mind of man. Such 
of necessity is intelligible ONLY to an Infinite Mind. 
The acorn cup cannot contain the ocean. 

"From the charges in Number 1, the conclusion that 
Burnett is a MONIST is illogical in theory, untrue in 
fact. A MONIST believes in the reality of only One 
substance (Greek origin monos — one.) He believes that 
matter and mind are both modes or aspects of one and 
the same thing. But the testimony of consciousness (the 
knowledge of self) denies this position. When B. sees 
A., he knows that physiologically the image of A. is 
upon the retina; he also knows the joy or anger, or grati- 
tude, etc., OCCASIONED by this vision is quite AN- 
OTHER thing than the mere image B. 

"Every KNOWN OBJECT implies a KNOWING 
SUBJECT. In this mental operation, the KNOWER 
never mistakes the OBJECT for himself, the subject, 
(unless in introspective analysis, even THEN the same 
relations exist between subject and object.) Hence B. 
is- a DUALIST and not a MONIST! 




J. T. Maxey 
Galveston — A Friend of McDonald 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 161 

DENIES BEING AN AGNOSTIC. 

"2. All knowledge comes from OBSERVATION 
and EXPERIENCE. This is partly true, but not the 
WHOLE truth, — unless by these terms you include IN- 
TUITION and REASONING. Intuition is immedi- 
ate, certain and necessary knowledge and hence must 
not be OMITTED. Reasoning or rational KNOWL- 
EDGE constitutes the burden of mathematics — perfec- 
tion of the exact services. c He believes in nothing but 
what he knows.' 

"Belief is wholly unnecessary where there is positive 
knowledge. But the converse is not necessarily true. I 
have no right to disbelieve in the Russo-Japanese war 
just because I have no Personal and Positive knowledge 
of it. 

"Testimony must not in every case forever be dis- 
carded because it is undemonstrative. 

" Conclusions logically derived therefrom.' Belief 
of this type demands any man's conviction if the prem- 
ises are sound. To believe is to accept as true a state- 
ment or event upon other grounds than personal observa- 
tion or experience. Since every effect must have its 
cause, the naked effect necessarily engenders in man's 
mind the idea of the existence of a cause somewhere, at 
some time, under some certain circumstance. It is an 
intuitive conviction and therefore, necessary. 'He 
knows that, when he violates the laws of nature, he is 
punished by the automatic process of nature, etc., etc' 
Truly, c he knows' that he is invariably 'punished.' But 
why this invariability, this certainty of punishment if 
the Lawgiver's existence be so stoically uncertain? Why 
doubt the existence of the Lawgiver and readily affirm 



162 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the continuity and uniformity of the law and auto- 
matic process 5 ? 

An automaton is an unconscious apparatus, but acts 
as though it were conscious. How could such be unless 
created by a conscious designer? By chance? Chance 
is never uniform? 

DENIES UTILITARIANISM. 

"3. Suppose A., out of envy and malice afore- 
thought, shoots at B. with murderous intent. He misses 
B. and kills a hidden robber accidentally. The killing 
of the robber greatly relieves the citizens of the com- 
munity. But does this fact justify the murderous action 
of A.? This act is undoubtedly utilitarian in effect. 
This is 'an act which does more good than harm to 
all whom it in any way effects/ 'but is such an act' a 
good act, and to do it is 'always right 5 ? An act may be 
'good 5 but imprudent. The Utilitarian theory is a good 
one so far as the end is concerned, but the motive and 
means should be justified by this end. 

"Principle should never be sacrificed for a question- 
able expedient. When reduced to its final analysis, it 
becomes certain that Utilitarianism is based upon a self- 
ishness which is usually excused by its pleasant results. 
Therefore, I cannot subscribe to Utilitarianism as a sat- 
isfactory creed. 

DENIES BEING AN INFIDEL. 

"4. Truly 'B. does not KNOW whether plants, 
animals and men survive (consciously) "death 55 5 — 
hence the necessity of faith. If man were so constituted 
that he would peremptorily reject anything of which he 
h#d not positive knowledge, he would forever remain a 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 163 

savage or even die within a few days, because of starva- 
tion. For instance, suppose the child had no faith in 
its mother, no faith in his own power to move, to find 
out things which he knows not, he would soon become 
a hopeless victim of PHYSICAL and MENTAL pa- 
ralysis. The scientist has implicit faith in his 'ids/ 
'determinants,' 'atoms,' 'molecules,' 'gravitation' and 
'chemical affinity.' Before he arrived at these satisfac- 
tory (to himself) conclusions, he rested his case purely 
upon FAITH; faith to believe that there must be a 
solution, faith in the continuity of nature until he might 
find the solution. All scientific inductions are largely 
charged with faith, to believe (no absolute demonstra- 
tion) that these inductions lead to general laws. The 
services therefore REST upon a rational faith in the 
continuity of casual connections and invariable effects. 
*The results of careful scientific observation seem to 
indicate that they do not (that men and animals do not 
survive "death.")' 

"Science can have no reason for discarding the doc- 
trine of immortality since it declares the theory of the 
indestructibility of matter. Mind is divorced from 
matter as far as having a real existence but NOT di- 
vorced so far as its manifestations. A telegraph message 
is transmitted only by means of the wire or ether (in 
wireless telegraphy) but the message is no part of the 
wire or ether. The wire and ether are vibrating media 
by which the purposes of the mind are known. Beyond 
the portals of death is a subject that lies without the 
province of physical or biological science. 

"To reject MIRACLES because they seemingly con- 
trovert the laws of nature and hence impossible is one- 



16+ BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

sided reasoning. If we admit that there must have been 
a Lawgiver to CREATE matter, formulate and fix its 
laws, is it impossible for this same Lawgiver to 'change 
water to wine 5 when He only first caused water to be? 
Did He expend all his energies in the original creative 
act? If we cannot understand HOW three atoms of 
hydrogen and oxygen make one molecule of water, how 
can we understand the time God gave the atoms their 
beings. But because we don't understand the HOW, 
that does not destroy the fact of their existence. 

"(4. a2.) If we reject miracles solely for the want 
of proof, historic proof, why accept evolution, Descent 
of Man, geology and kindred historic science? The 
myths of William Tell, 'Pocahontas and John Smith 
incident' and the legendary heroes of the Greeks and 
Romans do not cause us to indorse the wholesale rejec- 
tion of the histories of Switzerland, U. S. and Greece 
and Rome. The Bible is not free from figures of speech, 
recitals of cruel and unjust wars and bestial actions of 
nations. We often consider the Bible only as a historic 
treatise and condemn it from Genesis to Revelation — 
'False in one, false in all 5 is not applied to the Bible or 
any other subject wherein such an induction is entirely 
rash and self-destructive. 

"Finally, science, herself (namely, archaeology) has 
in very recent years brought to light many historic facts 
which would have otherwise remained for ages or 
always perhaps, a matter of blind belief, pious conjec- 
ture or incredible myths. 

"The New Testament finds historic support in many 
manuscripts of contemporaneous records. The Har- 
mony of Gospels, life of and philosophy of Paul cannot 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 165 

be surpassed. They stand yet as beacon-lights to gild the 
shores of this doubting Century. We cannot reject all 
testimony because SOME testimony seems to be un- 
verifiable. There is no real conflict between geology 
and the Bible. There is but the difference of expression 
of one and the same fact. Hence I cannot see how Bur- 
nett can EVER be an INFIDEL. 

AM NOT A RATIONALIST. 

"5. 'AN IMAGINARY DEITY' cannot have 
created a REAL world. 

"RATIONALISM is the result of magnifying the 
powers of reason. It is arrogance of the highest type. 
To be able to reason out clearly every problem of exist- 
ence would be to understand this GREAT FIRST 
CAUSE in his entirety. RATIONALISM is purely 
suicidal in its doctrine. 

"It is but rational that 'every effect must have its 
cause/ but according to Rationalism, if I cannot ration- 
ally reach the purposes, plans and mysterious being of 
this FIRST cause, therefore it does not exist! Pre- 
posterous! If reason were all-sufficient, then revelation 
were vain. Let's see! Why 2 and 2 makes 4j why I 
have only two eyes and not more or less; why a thing 
cannot both be and not be simultaneously; I DO NOT 
KNOW! BUT THEY DO EXIST! Knowing that 
there are millions of cases in the physical, mental and 
moral worlds which I cannot understand, the legitimate 
range of reason now sets forth its bounds. If I am 
seriously ill and conclude that I cannot cure myself, the 
highest function of reason now is, is to rest its case with 
a competent physician. Just because I cannot under- 



166 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

stand the causes and needs of the ailment is no disproof 
of their existence. Knowledge is relative and absolute. 
All human knowledge is relative. God is absolute. 
Hence the relative knowledge of man cannot compre- 
hend the absolute knowledge of being and God. Hence 
the necessity of REVELATION of His being and 
attributes through nature, physical, mental and moral. 

"5a. His revelation to man is in just such manner 
as he can best understand. c How can he (man) be re- 
ligious? ' Since the effect can never be greater than the 
cause, man can never be greater than his Creator. Since 
man's highest development, is his mental and moral de- 
velopment, God must also be mental and moral (when 
rationally viewed.) 

"This similarity of natures at once establishes a 
necessary between man and God. And since man is a 
rational being, this relation becomes a rational relation, 
a known relation. But the human reason being finite, 
cannot COMPREHEND (not apprehend) the infinite. 
Hence the necessity of revelation. Therefore, I am 
NOT a RATIONALIST. 

DO NOT STAND FOR OPPORTUNISM. 

"6. 'Dogmatism' is more critically noticed in mat- 
ters religious. If it is applicable in theology it is 
EQUALLY so in other fields of thought. 

u c To make the best of circumstances as they arise' 
is prudent and just, but to wait passively for such cir- 
cumstances, like crouching beasts of prey, to take selfish 
advantage is nefarious. Furthermore, to wait passively 
is not enough. There are times, and often, when one 
must exert his utmost ingenuity in bringing about c f avor- 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 167 

able conditions' for the accomplishment of the c greatest 
good to the greatest number.' There are praiseworhy 
elements in the doctrine of opportunism but not enough 
to satisfy a consistent reason. Its weakest points are: 
passivity, often a sacrifice of principle for expedient and 
tendencies to fatalism. Therefore, I MUST reject OP- 
PORTUISM. 

I AM NO DETERMINIST. 

"7. 'Man is the child of two obvious and omnipo- 
tent Creators — Heredity and Environment.' Neatly 
true! A personality, ego, soul or any name you choose 
to give it is the nucleus upon which heredity and envir- 
onment are ingrafted. 

" 'They give him birth.' Truly, through ordinary 
descent heredity and environment will account for 
marked resemblances in physical form and mental char- 
acteristics. But there must have been a FIRST SOME- 
THING. If we take the evolutionsits' viewpoint and 
start from a single cell and evolve through a long series 
of lower orders up to the stately man, the Evolution 
cannot be greater than the INVOLUTION. The re- 
sultant characteristics cannot be elementally different 
from or greater than the sum of the series of the here- 
ditaments and affective influences found in the animals 
from cell-plasm to modern man. Since the effect can- 
not be greater than its cause, and since there can be no 
evolution without involution, it is hard to understand 
how a conscious soul, a sentient ego, could have arisen 
out of protoplasm unless the soul element was either 
planted in the cell, or there must have been divine 
interference at some point in the evolutionary line. 
These suppositions are contrary to the hypothesis. 



168 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"Evidently, before there can be any heredity at all, 
there must be an original PROGENITOR upon whose 
progeny he transmits his characteristics (in part or 
whole). When, where and how did this Original 
Progenitor get HIS individuality which makes subse- 
quent heredity possible? Since man, proper, is an im- 
material soul and has a material body; since his soul is 
intensive, conscious and self-impelling, his body, ex- 
tensive, unconscious and impelled by gravitation and 
chemism, (purely material forces), there is no ground 
for holding that Material evolution can ever, by any 
attenuating process of atomic refinement, lead to an 
Immaterial; thinking SOUL WITH WHICH we dis- 
cuss such perplexing problems as these. I therefore 
deny the basis of charge Number 7, that c Man is the 
child of Heredity and Environment. ' " 

"Truly, heredity, in the form of organic habits, (not 
acquired habits) and fixed structures for adaptation to 
environment, are great factors in the destiny of every 
soul. But heredity, environment and personality, or 
conscious ME, are the trinity which make man plan, 
reject plans, accept plans, modify plans, rejoice in plans 
and execute plans. 

"His hereditary prejudices an immediate or remote 
environment may have caused at one time his conscious 
will to prefer certain actions which, being constantly 
repeated, have grown into Czarish habits. He may even 
be powerless against their way. But there was a time 
when he preferred, when he voluntarily chose to do or 
not to do a given thing. He stood at the parting of the 
ways, with freedom to go to the right or left. But be- 
ca.use he is now on one of the ways and because retreat 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 169 

may be impossible, this does not destroy the fact that he 
once held the situation in his own hands. 

"The very fact that man holds to this opinion today 
and rejects it tomorrow and fights about it the next day 
all for varying reasons, shows that there is no pre- 
ordination of hereditary forces to account for such. 
Hereditary predispositions tend to persist in a given di- 
rection. There is no other hypothesis that can account 
for these changing attitudes but a conscious adaptation 
of will. This hypothesis will explain other phenomena 
of preference that may arise — while the heredity hy- 
pothesis will explain only that which seems fatalistic. 
Since I can select and adopt something today which 
seems perfectly reasonable and just, and since I will 
surely reject and fight about the same something tomor- 
row, because of change of view — for an equally good 
reason. I must be free in my own right to DO or not 
to DO. Therefore, I uncompromisingly reject the doc- 
trine of DETERMINIST. 

"The pangs of conscience sting the guilty oftimes into 
voluntary confession of the most heinous crimes; the 
sanctions of conscience cause men to persist in uninviting 
paths, military heroism, martyrdom of science and 
religion (notwithstanding habit). Thus I have a sub- 
jective witness that cannot fail (in normal minds) to 
approve or condemn. My consciousness of responsibility 
presupposes my freedom. Hence the denial of DE- 
TERMINISM. 

"8. Now, since I am sincere in my reasoning, and 
since I believe implicitly in the sufficiency of the argu- 
ments herein set forth — divested of all prejudicial senti- 
ment pro and con. I emphatically deny each specific 



170 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

charge. Allow me to say concerning the charges, that 
the dilemmas, the logical blockades, set up in each part 
of defense are simply admitable. It is an inherent law 
of every human mind to crave for something beyond 
itself. The wise adaptation of ends to legitimate desires 
must be reckoned with. The physical body requires and 
demands air, sunshine and food for the perpetuity of its 
existence. The physical body, the most inferior part 
of man, surely cannot receive a more abundant gratifica- 
tion of its necessary desires than the soul. 

"The soul is considered by skeptics and theists, alike 
under the three-fold aspect of intellect, emotions and 
will. The soul being NON-MATERIAL but CON- 
SCIOUS, requires and DEMANDS a food, an environ- 
ment of a higher type — a gratification peculiarly suited 
to its remarkable constitution. It requires knowledge, 
truth, ideals, love, sympathy, faith, joy, encouragement, 
beauty, harmony, hope, aspiration, preference, choice 
and action. Without these, it cannot be healthy. 

"Whether we take the conservative biblical view (as 
usually interpreted) or the more liberal evolutionary 
view, we agree that the ends of life we are shadowed 
forth, yes, announced: by the inherent tendencies of 
matter and mind are but labels showing the fair and 
thoughtful observer for what c port they are bound' that 
they 'have no continual city here but seeking one to 
come.' 

"Now, since MONISM asks me to identify the sub- 
ject and the object, to ME and the NOT ME; since 
AGNOSTICISM affirms a knowledge of supra micro- 
scopical atoms, ether, etc., and denies ME the right 
of affirming the hope of a relative knowledge of a First 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 171 

Cause (which affirmation is a mental necessity) ; since 
Utilitariansim ignores both motives and means and seeks 
justification in questionable expedients and selfish re- 
sults 5 since INFIDELITY ignores all historic testimony 
corroborative of the facts of Holy Writ and the personal 
life of the historic JESUS CHRIST; since Rationalism 
is, manifestly, reason run mad; since OPPORTUNISM 
is based upon the exploded doctrine of mental passivity 
(contrary to the mental constitution) ; since DETER- 
MINISM denies me PERSONAL CONSCIOUS- 
NESS, sense of responsibility, an approving, condemning 
or warning conscience; I MUST, tjhough admiring, 
tolerate and even adopting many facts of their respective 
arguments, REJECT their arguments, though ingenious 
but Untenable. And since the mental, moral and re- 
ligious natures of every race known to history require 
and demand a god of some sort, I, believing myself 
civilized or more enlightened, likewise require and de- 
mand a God suited to my mental, moral and religious 
needs. And this God is Jesus Christ, the founder of 
Christianity, the light of the civilized world. 

"The history of religious culture shows conclusively 
that the needs of the human soul, as outlined has never 
before been so completely met. And proceeding upon 
scientific methods, if at any future evolution of mental- 
ity, this Christ fails to satisfy the panting thirst of re- 
ligious need, it is not sacrilege to say that He, like the 
Olympian Jupiter, will be relegated to the ranks of 
myth-dom, and live only in the minds of future scholars 
rich in the religious mythology of the Christian era. 

"But the end, the goal of MONISM, AGNOSTIC- 
ISM, INFIDELITY, etc., can not satisfy the longings, 



172 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the instinctive yearnings of the heart. They leave us 
stranded high upon the cliffs of cold intellectualism 
while the emotions and moral sense are frozen into cold, 
cruel, indifference to human misery and woe. Chris- 
tianity only insures me immortality. But until that time 
comes, I must reverence and adore the highest ideal, 
Christian ideal, of which my mind is capable of cherish- 
ing, selecting and adopting. 

"I therefore, bow before 'HIM' whose perfect at- 
tributes are Wisdom, Goodness, Holiness, Justice, Mercy 
and Truth. 

"W. H. Burnett." 

Chief Justice Christian called Wm. M. McDonald to 
the bar and requested that he point out from his view- 
point any and all fallacious statements contained in Bur- 
nett's defense. Wm. M. McDonald came forward 
and said: 

"Would it please the Court and Gentlemen of the 
Jury: W. H. Burnett stands charged with seven (7) 
specific indictments, and if he is guilty of believing 
wholly or in part what a MONIST, an AGNOSTIC, a 
UTILITARIAN, an INFIDEL, a RATIONALIST 
or an OPPORTUNIST, or a DETERMINIST, be- 
lieves, he is not a Christian. If he in thought or words 
assents to any Creed or a sentence stating a fact which is 
the Creeds, tenet, belief, or faith of either of the persons 
named, he, Prof. W. H. Burnett is not, and cannot be a 
Christian. 

"Would it please the Court and Gentlemen of the 
Jury: I shall attempt to make an analysis of the adroit, 
subtle and fallacious argument which Prof. W. H. Bur- 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 173 

nett presents to rid himself of the charges of Tom Mind 
Reader. Prof. W. H. Burnett makes a brilliant dis- 
course and reasons well from wrong principles; but 
would it please the Court: Prof. W. H. Burnett must 
reason logically from right principles and thus remove 
the disgraceful stigma which is placed upon him by his 
holding certain un-Christian views and at the same time 
desiring to practice at the bar of the HONORABLE 
CHRISTIAN COURT. 

"Now, if the Court please, Prof. W. H. Burnett has 
been FIRST: Charged with being a MONIST, to 
which charge the said Prof. W. H. Burnett has pleaded 
not guilty. What is the basis of the Charge, that is 
alleged to prove Prof. W. H. Burnett is accused of mak- 
ing the following statements: 'Matter and force are con- 
vertible terms; neither is possible or conceivable without 
the other. This universe — the region of consciousness 
— probably had no beginning and will have no end. Its 
BEGINNING, like its END is unthinkable.' Now, if 
Prof. W. H. Burnett or any other man prescribes to the 
above doctrine he is a MONIST; and to escape from 
being branded and disgraced as a MONIST he must 
controvert and disprove the contention of the MON- 
ISTS by laying down a known premises and then 
proceed with his argument through a process of logical 
reasoning to a conclusion that proves him to be not a 
MONIST. 

"But Mr. Burnett lays down the following premises 
or hypothesis : 'That there is universal law no one ought 
to deny.' He then begins to reason thusly: 'But since 
there is Universal Law there must necessarily be a Uni- 
versal Lawgiver.' Now, our good friend takes this 



174 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

course to reach the conclusion that something really 
exists distinct and apart from Matter and Force or in 
other words, he would have us consciously know that 
a conscious Lawgiver existed before there were such an 
entity as matter. Can Mr. Burnett conceive of a cons- 
cious Universal Lawgiver being composed of something 
apart and separate from Matter? Is it not incumbent 
upon our friend Burnett to tell us first what a Lawgiver 
is and then proceed to locate the habitation of this 
conscious UNIVERSAL LAWGIVER? Is it not right 
that he should tell us what Universal Law is and prove 
it. Mr. Burnett says: 'Matter and force are convertable 
terms only when applied to human knowledge.' Now 
this language would imply that our good friend knew 
something about some other knowledge besides Human 
knowledge. For Mr. Burnett to prove that there is 
knowledge outside of HUMAN knowledge he must 
bring forward some conscious entity other than human 
beings and show that it possesses knowledge. Can he 
and will he do it? 

"Now, then, if Mr. Burnett admits that Matter and 
Force are convertable terms when applied to human 
knowledge (he, Burnett not knowing anything about 
any other kind of knowledge) he agrees with the con- 
tention of the MONIST. Mr. Burnett likewise agrees 
with the contention of the MONIST when he says: 
'True its beginning so far as time and mode are con- 
cerned may be unthinkable to the finite mind of man.' 
But this statement would imply that there were other 
minds to be reckoned with, outside the mind of man. 

"But since he does not attempt to prove who is the 
proud possessor of some other kind of mind, that is not 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 175 

• 

finite it is a waste of time in my opinion to follow his 
course of reasoning further. Because we think it clear 
that if MONISTISM is to agree that 'Matter and 
Force are convertable terms;' and 'neither is possible or 
conceivable without the other, and that its beginning like 
its end is unthinkable' — W. H. Burnett agrees with 
this, and is therefore a MONIST and we think the 
Court should so hold. 

"Would it please the Court: W. H. Burnett is charged 
with being an AGNOSTIC to which charge he also 
pleads not guilty, and proceeds to set up an argument to 
controvert the allegation. 

"He is charged with making the statement that 'All 
knowledge came from experience and observation. 5 He 
says in his written answer, 'This is partly true, but not 
the whole truth, unless by these terms you include intui- 
tion and reasoning.' Of course intuition and reasoning 
are included, and if they are included, then Prof. Bur- 
nett is ready to admit that all knowledge comes from 
experience and observation. 

"Prof. Burnett says: 'I have no right to disbelieve in 
the Russo-Japanese war just because I have no personal 
or positive knowledge of it.' Now, if it would please 
the Court, Prof. W. H. Burnett does not relieve the sit- 
uation at all by raising this point. As to whether Prof. 
Burnett should reject and discredit the statement that 
'there was a war of recent date between Russia and 
Japan' 5 should depend wholly upon the credibility of his 
informant, since he was not present and taking part in 
the war. 

"What is personal knowledge? and what is positive 
knowledge? If there can be any clear meaning or ideas 



176 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

conveyed to the second person by the use of the phrase or 
compound word, 'personal-knowledge 5 it is this idea 
conveyed: Knowledge obtained by individual perception 
passed through the functions of the eye and ear. So if 
this statement be admitted we might conclude that Pos- 
itive knowledge can only be possessed by the aid of the 
eye and ear. We are positive about those things only 
which we see and hear. Would it please the Court and 
Gentlemen of the Jury: we all must admit that we have 
no other faculties of perceiving or knowing anything 
Divine or Human but by our five senses and reason. 
Prof. W. H. Burnett says that he has no right to reject 
the information that there was a Russo-Japanese war 
when he says C I have no right to disbelieve in the Russo- 
Japanese war just because I have no personal and pos- 
itive knowledge of it.' Now let us see if he has not got 
some personal knowledge of the Russo-Japanese war. 
He has information that there was a Russo-Japanese war 
and what is information? Information is 'News, advice 
or knowledge communicated by others or obtained by 
personal study and investigation; intelligence, knowl- 
edge derived from reading, observation or instruction.' 
Now, would it please the Court, if this is a correct defi- 
nition of the meaning of Information, Prof. Burnett is 
bound to have had personal knowledge of the Russo- 
Japanese war. 

"It is true that the compound word Personal-knowl- 
edge may be defined as knowledge gained in person 
without the intervention of another, and we wish to 
admit that Prof. Burnett could not know of the Russo- 
Japanese war by or through Intuition. He must have 
gotten his knowledge from reading, and this required 




W. D. Cain 

fraternal Brother 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 177 

personal study, and this study is one method of observa- 
tion. We still find ourselves confronted with the con- 
tention of the AGNOSTIC that all knowledge comes 
from EXPERIENCE and OBSERVATION and the 
brilliant discourse of Prof. Burnett has failed to remove 
this contention. Prof. Burnett admits (for he does not 
attempt to argue against the statement of the Agnostic, 
when the agnostic says) c He knows that he (Burnett) 
does not know anything concerning those matters about 
which nothing is known/ and that 'when he (Burnett) 
violates the laws of nature he is punished by the Auto- 
matic process of nature, and his prayer or profanity is 
alike futile. y Now, would it please the Court: if Prof. 
Burnett finds himself in perfect accord with the con- 
tention just stated j does it not justify the conclusion 
that he and the Agnostic uphold the same tenet r 
And then is Prof. Burnett helped out of his dilemma be- 
cause he asks the question: c But why this invariability, 
this certainty of punishment if the Lawgiver's existence 
be so stoically uncertain? 5 It would seem that Prof. 
Buraett admits a fact in order to ask a question about 
something which is not yet known. 

"He tells us what an automaton is and thinks he has 
escaped from his awful plight when he asks: 'How 
could such be unless created by a conscious designer? ? 
Now, would it please the court: I wish to state that 
everything sustains both an absolute and a relative 
capacity; or concrete and abstract. An absolute as it is 
such a thing endued with such a nature, and a relative 
as it is a part of the universe and stands in such a relation 
to the whole. Concrete things are real things. Abstract 
things are separated from matter and exist in the mind 



178 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

only. Hence 'there may be in the infinite reaches of the 
universe any kind of God or Devil, Creator, Ruler, De- 
stroyer, Satan, Beelzebub, Angels, Imps or Fairies, but 
he has no knowledge of such beings and there is appar- 
ently no way of obtaining information concerning them.' 
Now, would it please the court: If Professor Burnett 
agrees that God, Devil, Beelzebub and such words are 
abstract and convey ideas separated from matter, we are 
bound to conclude that Professor Burnett is an AGNOS- 
TIC, and therefore not a Christian, and the court should 
so hold. 

"Would it please the court and gentlemen of the jury, 
Professor W. H. Burnett is further charged: Third — 
With being a UTILITARIAN, to which charge he 
says, c not guilty/ and proceeds on a fallacious supposition 
to extricate himself from the odium of Utilitarianism. 
He says: 'Suppose A. out of envy and malice afore- 
though shoots at B. with murderous intent. He misses 
B. and kills a hidden robber accidentally. The killing 
of the robber greatly relieves the citizens of the com- 
munity, but does this fact justify the murderous action 
of A.?' Professor Burnett submits this supposition and 
fancies that he has disproved the statement that c an act 
which does more good than harm to all whom it in any 
way affects is always a good act, and to do it is always 
rights The way Professor Burnett reasons it is not a 
hard task to prove that my little son, William M. Mc- 
Donald, Jr., is a chicken. Now, let me suppose that all 
two-legged animals are chickens; William M. Mc- 
Donald, Jr., is a two-legged animal, therefore he is a 
chicken. Would any person claim that my supposition 
\yas not a fallacy? 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 179 

"Or, is it not a fact that my premises are false and 
the conclusions must of necessity be false? I agree with 
Professor Burnett that if such an act as he sets down 
above could ever really happen that it will be Utilitarian 
in effect. But until it does happen it is not Utilitarian 
and he cannot suppose this to be a real act until it really 
happens. Mr. Burnett says 'an act may be good, but 
imprudent.' We deny that a real good act can be im- 
prudent. Now, since Mr. Burnett does not controvert 
the general principle of preferring 'useful' to the 'use- 
less,' and since he boldly proclaims that 'the Utilitarian 
theory is a good one/ it would stand to reason that Pro- 
fessor Burnett is very much in love with Utilitarianism, 
notwithstanding his denials to the contrary. Professor 
Burnett does not attempt to destroy his principle that 
'when a man does injury to his neighbor he will find it 
personally advantageous to modify his conduct and to 
do good to his neighbor; for only thus can he help to 
establish a habit among men which will insure his 
own comfort and enjoy that highest pleasure which re- 
sults from giving pleasure to others.' And since he does 
not attempt to destroy this principle, I must conclude 
that he agrees with it. 

"It is not out of place to here inform Professor Bur- 
nett that Jesus Christ was a Utilitarian in actual practice. 
If the Christian theory is correct He left the warm 
bosom of His Father, came to this mundane sphere, and 
practically committed suicide to save the dying world. 
Now I might ask, was this act a selfish one which is 
usually excused by its pleasant results? Did the motive 
and means justify the end? Or was this principle sac- 
rificed for a questionable expedient? 



180 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"Reason is the faculty of the mind that gives us the 
power to present all inductions and deductions from any 
given proposition, and Professor Burnett should proceed 
along this line and refrain from asking questions which 
can only be answered (abstractly), and then, too, it is 
not to be taken that because a question is asked that it is 
equivalent to either affirming or objecting. I think, 
Professor Burnett and the Utilitarian are too much in 
accord with each other. 

"Would it please the court and gentlemen of the jury: 
Professor W. H. Burnett has been charged: FOURTH 
— With being an Infidel, and to this accusation he 
strongly demurs and enters a resourceful argument to 
sustain his demurrer. In the article of the indictment 
will be found the following language: W. H. Burnett 
does not know whether man, animals or vegetables, con- 
scientiously survive the great change which he calls 
'Death.' 

"Now, Professor Burnett comes forward and agrees 
with the contention or premises of the Infidel in the 
following statement. 'Truly Burnett does not know 
whether plants, animals and men survive (consciously) 
"death." * To do Professor Burnett full justice it would 
seem that he agrees only for the purpose of differing, 
and begins to argue or reason thusly: 'Hence the neces- 
sity of faith.' Just why Professor Burnett seeks to 
here bring Faith to his rescue I am unable to compre- 
hend. Certainly Faith will not aid him on his road to 
knowledge, but it might delude him. 

"Faith is not knowledge; it is a belief or an assent; 
neither is necessary when a person really knows. 

"Professor Burnett says: 'The scientist has implicit 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 181 

faith in his ideas, determinates, atoms, molecules, gravi- 
tations and chemical affinity.' Before he arrived at 
these satisfactory conclusions he rested his case, however, 
upon pure faith, etc. 

"That the sciences therefore rest upon a rational 
faith, a continuity of casual connections, and unvariable 
effects. 

"Now, no real scientific principle has ever been dis- 
covered by this method. Professor Burnett evidently 
labors under the hallucination of the mind that all 
scientific truths and principles were known before any 
precess of scientific investigation was set in motion, and 
that the fellow who knows all about these scientific 
truths or principles was too lazy to set out and find the 
truth or principles himself, but told Edison to search 
along certain lines, and he (Edison) would discover the 
principle. Edison having faith, proceeded to investi- 
gate. The truth is, a scientist may be in search of a 
certain truth and find another truth quite to the opposite. 
Professor Burnett puts much stress upon c Rational 
Faith.' And if he means anything by the statement he 
must mean 'Reasonable Belief.' 

"I take it for granted that a reasonable belief is belief 
based upon reason; that is to say, that we reach the belief 
after a process of reasoning, and this is exactly what the 
scientist does. 

"Professor Burnett makes the statement : 'That science 
can have no reason for discarding the doctrine of im- 
mortality, since it declares the theory of the indestruct- 
ibility of matter.' 

"Now, I wish to state that science does not need to 
destroy the theory that matter cannot be destroyed, but 



> 



182 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

science does not proclaim that matter is conscious. After 
showing how learned Professor Burnett is on the subject 
of Faith, which is no part of knowledge, he makes this 
bold and emphatic statement: 'Beyond the portals of 
death is a subject that lies without the province of phys- 
ical or biological sciences.' 

"This language must strengthen the contention of the 
Infidel or he would have us conclude that there were 
some other kind of sciences that would fully cover the 
subject of death. Inasmuch as man does not know any- 
thing about such sciences, I do not see the necessity of 
the implication, and I dismiss it without further 
observation. 

"Professor Burnett now turns his attention to the de- 
fense of miracles. He says: c To reject miracles because 
they seem to controvert the laws of nature, and hence 
impossible, is one-sided reason. ' 

"The question is not whether it is one or two-sided 
reason to reject miracles, but whether miracles have 
ever been performed; that is the question. 

"Nor is it argument to answer a question by asking 
a question. For instance he says: 'If we reject miracles 
solely for want of proof, historical proof, why accept 
evolution, the descent of man, geology and kindred his- 
torical sciences? ' We reject evolution when applied 
to the descent of man as evolving out of something other 
than matter, for the good reason that we reject miracles. 
The statements are unsupported or corroborated by a 
scientific or historic fact. 

"We now find our friend Burnett agreeing to the con- 
tention of the infidel when he says: 'The Bible (and by 
the way, he begins the word Bible with a small "b,") is 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 183 

not free from figures of speech, recitals of cruel and un- 
just wars, and bestial actions of nations. 5 But hear him 
further: 'We often consider the bible only as a historical 
treatise and condemn it from Genesis to Revelations.' 

"No Infidel could be more harsh in his dealings with 
the Bible than Prof. Burnett has proven himself to be 
in the language above quoted. 

"Realizing his frightful and sinking position. Prof. 
Burnett attempts to regain lost ground by saying: 'False 
in one, false in all, is not to be applied to the bible, or 
any other subject wherein such induction is entirely rash 
and self destructive.' 

"Now, in the above statement, Prof. Burnett tells 
us: 'That it is wrong to suppose that if the bible is false 
in moral facts, that it likewise is false in the fact of 
divine inspiration or historic facts. It is clear that the 
bible is a record of human events, it cannot be the word 
of God.' Now, let us investigate the truthfulness of 
the statement that there is no real conflict between 
geology and the Bible. And that there is but the differ- 
ence of expression in one and the same facts. 

"In the Bible Genesis SEAS and LAND were pro- 
duced upon the third day, that is, in the third age. 
Right there is the geological conception of Genesis com- 
pletely refuted. Beyond that we need not go. For 
when a link is broken the chain is useless. Geological 
ages are determined by the character of stratified rock; 
that is, rock which has hardened from sediment de- 
posited upon the bottom of seas and rivers in layers of 
strata. This sediment must come from land and strati- 
fied rocks are absolute geological evidence (no evidence 
more certain) that both land and seas must have existed 



184 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

before the rocks or the sediment could have been de- 
posited in layers to harden into stratified rock. The 
oldest geological age which equals all others combined, 
the Archaean age, is determined by the oldest known 
rock, and these rocks are stratified. And in these rocks 
there is absolutely no certain evidence of either vege- 
table or animal life. What does this prove? That there 
was land and sea before the Archaean age, which is ab- 
solutely the first and oldest geological age. All that 
; ;oes before this is a blank. Accepting the days of bib- 
lical Genesis as ages, then there are two ages in Genesis 
which proceed or precede the third age in which land 
or sea were first made. Now, geology cannot possibly 
agree with the biblical Genesis for at least the oldest 
geological age must agree with the first age of Genesis. 
It does not even agree with the third age of the biblical 
Genesis for there is geological demonstration that land 
and sea existed before even the oldest possible geological 
age, the Archaean, yet land and sea in biblical Genesis 
were not made until the third age. 
THAT IS HOW BIBLE AND SCIENCE AGREE 

"Geology teaches First Age, the Archaean, equals the 
Bible Genesis Fourth Age. And accepting the agree- 
ment when it begins we are still uncertain for there is 
no geological evidence as to when land and sea orig- 
inated. Accepting the Genesis as true the Archaean 
geological age cannot be proven to agree with any age 
of biblical Genesis before the sixth age, when Adam 
was made. For though Life both ANIMAL and 
VEGETABLE is uncertain of evidence in the first 
geological age, yet both forms of life must have 
originated before the second geological age 5 that is, 



METAPHYSCAL ARGUMENT 185 

before all ages of biblical Genesis except the sixth age, 
or the age of Adam. Or by indirect yet certain demon- 
stration in the first Archaean geological age. And the 
first two geological ages are very distinct, there is 
absolutely no conformity between the rock of two ages. 
I can say without fear of refutation that the second or 
paloeozoic geological age cannot possible agree with any 
age of biblical Genesis before the sixth age, for every 
possible one of the creations referred to in the first ages 
of the biblical Genesis, were produced in a time corre- 
sponding with the first age of geology, the Archaean age. 

"Now, if Prof. Burnett agrees that he does not know 
whether man, animals, and plants consciously survive 
the great change which he calls death, and if he fails 
to prove that miracles ever did occur, and if he agrees 
that the Bible is a history of wars, human events, etc., 
it would stand to a logical deduction that our friend Bur- 
nett and the Infidel is one and the same person notwith- 
standing his adroit denials to the contrary. 

"Would it please the Court and Gentlemen of the 
Jury: Prof. W. H. Burnett is charged FIFTH with 
being a Rationalist, to which charge he vehemently 
protests. Prof. Burnett fails, refuses and neglects to 
discuss the contentions of the Rationalists, but wanders 
into a long discourse on the great FIRST CAUSE, and 
by implication the origin of the Universe. 

"He begins by saying: c An imaginary deity cannot 
have created a real world.' On analyzing this statement, 
I find that Prof. Burnett lays down the hypothesis that 
a real world has been created and that some real external 
agency whom I shall call deity did the job. 

"Now, let us examine this theory or hypothesis. 'The 



186 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

crudest creed, and in the cosmology, long current among 
men; it is assured that the Genesis of the heavens and 
earth is effected somewhat after the manner in which 
a carpenter shapes a house. It is taken for granted that 
there is an analogy between the process of creation and 
process of manufacture. 5 

"In the first place not only is this conception one that 
cannot by any cumulative process of thought or the ful- 
fillment of predictions based on it be shown to answer 
anything actual, and not only is it that in the absence 
of all evidence respecting the process of creation, we 
have no proof of correspondence even between this 
limited contention and some limited portion of the fact, 
but it is that conception is not even consistent with self; 
cannot be realized in thought when all its assumptions 
are granted. Though it is true that the proceedings of 
the human artificer may vaguely symbolize to us a 
method after which the universe might be shaped, yet 
they do not help us to comprehend the real mystery, 
namely: the origin of the material of which the universe 
consists. The artisan does not make the iron, wood, or 
stone he uses, but merely fashions and combines them. 
If we suppose suns and planets, satellites and all they 
contain to have been similarly formed by A GREAT 
ARTIFICER, we suppose merely that certain pre- 
existing elements were thus put into their present ar- 
rangement, but when the pre-existing elements? The 
comparison helps us not n the least to understand that, 
and unless it helps us tc understand them it is worthless. 

"The production of matter out of nothing is a real 
mystery which neither similes nor any other enables us 
to see, and a simile which does not enable us to see, this 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 187 

may just as well be dispensed with. Still more the mag- 
nificence of this theory of creation becomes, when we 
turn from material objects to that which contains them, 
when instead of matter we contemplate space. Did 
there exist nothing but an unmeasurable void, exclama- 
tion would be needed as much then as now; there will 
still arise the question, 'How come it so? ' If the theory 
of creation by real external agencies be an adequate one, 
it would supply an answer, and its answer would be: 
Space was made in the same manner as matter was made. 
But the impossibility of conceiving this is so manifest, 
that no one dares to assert it. For if space was created, 
it must have been previously non-existing. 

"The non-existence of space cannot, however, by any 
mental effort be imagined, and the non-existence of 
space is absolutely inconceivable, then necessarily its 
creation is absolutely conceivable. Even supposing that 
the genesis of the universe could be really represented in 
thought as the result of an external agency, the mystery 
would be as great as ever, for there would still arise the 
question: 'How came there to be an external agency?' 
To account for this we must rely upon one of the three 
hypothesis, we must rely upon the theory, namely: that 
the Universe is self-existing, or it is self-creative, or it 
was created by some real external agency which we call 
DEITY in the outset of this argument. Of these hy- 
pothesis the last is useless. It commits us to an infinite 
series of such agencies and leaves us where we were. By 
the second we are put in the same predicament since 
self-creation implies an infinite series of potential exist- 
ences. We are obliged therefore to fall back upon the 
first, which is the one commonly accepted and commonly 



188 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

supposed to be satisfactory. That is the world, the Uni- 
verse, is self-existence. This is reason, and reason is 
therefore Rationalism. I conclude that the Honorable 
Court will so hold. 

"Would it please the Court and Gentlemen of the 
Jury, Prof. W. H. Burnett is charged SIXTH: With 
being an opportunist, to which charge he pleads very 
faintly, 'not guilty.' After telling us that the religious 
field of thought is pregnated with Dogmation, he says: 
'To make the best of circumstances as they arise is 
prudent and just; but to wait passively for such circum- 
stances like a crouching beast of prey to take selfish 
advantages, is nefarious.' Now, we find Prof. Burnett 
agreeing with the principle but complaining with the 
manner in which some men might wait. He says c to 
wait passively like a crouching beast of prey is to take 
selfish advantage. 5 The question is not whether one is 
to wait passively like a crouching beast but 4s it wise to 
make the best of circumstances as they arise and effect 
changes when conditions are favorable and not grumble 
about what cannot be helped? ' 

"The only objection that Prof. Burnett finds to the 
opportunist is that it is possible for one to become passive 
and this is from his viewpoint the weakest link. He 
says: 'Furthermore, to wait passively is not enough.' 
This language would imply that Prof. Burnett agrees 
with the principle of the Opportunist, but is not quite 
satisfied with the manner of procedure and he boldly 
adds: 'There are times, and often, when one must exert 
his utmost ingenuity in bringing about favorable condi- 
tions for the accomplishment of the greatest good to the 
greatest number.' 'There are praiseworthy elements in 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 189 

the doctrine of Opportunism, but not enough to satisfy 
a consistent reason.' Here Prof. Burnett would have 
all satisfied with Opportunism except those persons with 
a consistent reason. It is sufficient to state that all wise 
men will refuse to let a good opportunity pass them and 
many are so ambitious until they take chances that do 
not rise to the dignity of an opportunity. Would the 
Court please, Prof. W. H. Burnett's whole life's work 
for good or ill will depends upon his opportunities 
whether he waits passively for them or makes more op- 
portunities than he finds. So unless Prof. Burnett denies 
these truths the Court should class him as an OPPOR- 
TUNIST and so hold. 

"If the Court please, Prof. W. H. Burnett is charged 
SEVENTH, with being a DETERMINIST. He 
comes into Court and sets up a lengthy plea of not guilty. 

"He begins his defense this way: 'Man is the child 
of two obvious and omnipotent creators, viz: Heredity 
and Environment.' He says this is 'nearly true.' Now 
if it will please the Court, we shall rest our case upon 
that statement, and if Prof. Burnett cannot bring him- 
self to the point to controvert, destroy and deny in toto 
the assertion of the Determinist, that 'Man is the child of 
two obvious and omnipotent creators, viz: Heredity and 
Environment,' he stands convicted, of being a Determin- 
ist. From the subtle argument which Prof. Burnett sets 
up he agrees with the premises of the Determinist. And 
if he agrees with the premises as he clearly does; argue 
as he may, he is bound to reach the same conclusion in 
which the Determinist reaches and contends for 'That 
the will is not free, but is inevitably and invincibly 



190 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

determined by motives and that Heredity and Environ- 
ment are the sum total of man's creation.' 

"Behind all human acts are motives, either expressed 
or implied. One may inherit selfish motives or procliv- 
ities, or one may inherit noble motives or proclivities, 
but in either case, environments will direct the manner 
in which he uses these motives with regards to how they 
affect his action. The 'will' is directed by motives. It 
is not free to act independent of motives. Motives are 
inherited and largely controlled by environment. It was 
the learned Apostle Paul who is credited with saying: 
'When we are in Rome we do or act as Romans,' or 
words to that effect. Even nowadays we are often con- 
fronted with the statement: 'That when I was a child 
I acted as a child, but now I am a man and must act as 
a man.' The changed environment from child to man 
makes the difference — changes our being, will and 
action. If 'will' was free why don't a ten-year-old boy 
act and do things like a twenty-year-old boy, or if you 
please, a forty-year-old boy? Why don't a girl act like 
a full grown woman? The answer to these questions 
will doubtlessly prove that environments determined the 
difference and hence the statement: 'Man is the child of 
two obvious and omnipotent creators, viz: Heredity and 
Environment.' They give him birth, they escort him 
from the cradle to the grave, they form and inform and 
transform him, they fill him with needs and desires, they 
endow him with purposes, prejudices and principles and 
therefore the idea that he is a free agent and can do 
differently from what he does do, seems to be a hal- 
lucination whose chief function it is to minister to his 
egotism. 



METAPHYSICAL ARGUMENT 191 

"Would it please the Court and Gentlemen of the 
Jury: We leave off as we begin, W. H. Burnett stands 
charged with seven specific indictments and if he is 
guilty of believing wholly or in part what a Monist, an 
Agnostic, a Utilitarian, an Infidel, a Rationalist, or an 
Opportunist, or a Determinist believes, he is not a 
Christian. If he in thought or words assents to any 
creed or a sentence stating a fact or a phrase which is 
the creeds, tenets, beliefs or faiths of either of the per- 
sons named, he, Prof. W. H. Burnett, is not and cannot 
be a Christian. 

"We appeal to this Honorable Christian Court to 
judge j let a candid Christian world judge, if Prof. W, 
H. Burnett is guilty as charged. 

Wm. M. McDonald, 

Attorney." 




Prof. S. S. Reid 
Past Grand Scribe, Daughters of America of Texas 




Rev. W. L. Dickson 

President Dickson Orphanage — Life Long Friend 



CHAPTER XL 

A Prohibitionist. 1910. 

In 1910 and 1911 there was much discussion in the 
State of Texas over the subject of local option and state- 
wide prohibition. The saloon forces were arrayed 
against the anti-saloon forces. The issue was to be 
decided by the ballot. Each side struggled to poll as 
many votes as possible. In many sections of the state 
accusations were made that liquor men furnished negroes 
money to pay their poll taxes. A statement to this effect 
appeared in the "Home and State," an anti-saloon paper, 
September 3, 1910. Mr. McDonald took exception to 
the aspersion cast upon the 900,000 Negroes in Texas 
and, in defense of his race, wrote Dr. J. H. Gambrell 
the State Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League, 
as follows: 

"Fort Worth, Texas, September 21, 1910. 
"Mr. J. H. Gambrell, Supt., 

"Anti-Saloon League of Texas, 

"Dallas, Texas. 
"Dear Sir: 

"In the 'Home and State' of September 3rd, 1910, and on 
the second page of that paper it says: 'Liquor men furnish 
Negroes and "poor white trash" money to pay their poll taxes 
and get their votes for saloons in return.' 

"I wish you would give space in the columns of 'Home and 
State' for me to say: In Texas there is a statute against this 
way of doing things and if this accusation is true, the particular 
liquor man or men who follow this practice of paying or fur- 
nishing Negroes and 'poor white trash' money with which to 
pay their poll taxes ; in return for which they cast their votes 

193 



194 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

for the saloons, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of 
the law. 

"If it is not true I think the Anti-Saloon League should 
spurn to stoop so low as to be a party to circulating such a 
serious charge against a people who are powerless to defend 
themselves. I mean the 'NEGROES' and say nothing about 
the 'poor white trash' as I do not feel that I am called on 
to defend them. But I do feel that something should be said 
in behalf of the Negroes. I am a Negro and think I oppose 
the traffic of liquor and the open saloon as consistently and as 
firmly as does any Prohibitionist in Texas, regardless as to 
whom he may be. I have given my vote when permitted and 
contributed hard money to the Anti-Saloon League with the 
single hope that the league would create a sentiment among 
the people regardless of their color which when concentrated 
at the ballot box, would wreck, ruin and destroy the open 
saloon. 

"What I have said about myself is true of every leading 
Negro minister, teacher and doctor in this state. I do not 
say that all Negro preachers, teachers and doctors are Pro- 
hibitionists. There are some who are Anti-Prohibitionists, but 
they are not the leaders of the race. If you find a Negro 
preacher advocating the side of the open saloon, invariably he 
is a Negro preacher without a church. If you find a Negro 
school teacher who is advocating the side of the open saloon, 
he is a Negro teacher without a school. 

"Eight Negroes out of every ten who own their homes and 
who are buying homes in Texas are Prohibitionists and vote 
every time when permitted against the open saloon. In truth, 
I do not believe that the Negroes and 'poor white trash' main- 
tain, support and keep open the saloon. 

"The open saloon is supported and kept open by the well-to- 
do white man. Would you call Senator J. W. Bailey, John H. 
Kirby, Jake Walters, R. M. Johnson of The Houston Post, 
Clarence Ousley of the Fort Worth Record, Hugh Fitzgerald 
of the Dallas Evening Herald, State Chairman Sheb Wil- 
liams, Democrat nominee, O. B. Colquitt, 'poor white trash'? 
These men and their kind are responsible for the open saloon. 



A PROHIBITIONIST 195 

Is it just or is it fair play to hold the Negroes as being responsi- 
ble for the open saloon, when it is a fact that more leading 
Negroes support prohibition in proportion to their number than 
there are leading white men in proportion to their number? 
In the first place, the best Negroes are in no manner interested 
in the traffic of liquor, not even in the most remote degree. 
They have no brick house to rent for the use of the saloon. 
They have no relatives or strong influential friends engaged 
in the business. They have no sons seeking employment from 
saloon men. They have no daughters fed and clothed from 
the salaries paid men to operate the open saloon. They have 
no money to invest in the whiskey business and it can be stated 
without proof to the contrary, that the best tax-paying, God- 
fearing and home-loving Negroes in Texas have nothing to 
do with the saloon or the whiskey traffic. 

"While the Negroes who had poll tax receipts paid for 
with money earned by the sweat of his own black face were not 
permitted to vote in the Primary Election held July 2 3rd; yet 
every one of them, had they been permitted, with a few ex- 
ceptions, would have cast their ballots for Hon. Cone Johnson 
of Tyler — not that they held ill feelings against either Mr. 
Colquitt, Judge Poindexter or ex-Attorney General Davison, 
but that they all believe in the governmental principles and 
'whiskey-regulating' policies of Mr. Johnson. 

"I have never cast a vote in all of my life for a man or a 
measure that my heart and conscience did not approve. I 
never will. We are fortunate when we can cast a ballot for 
both man and a measure which our heart and conscience can 
approve, but if ever the time comes when I must choose be- 
tween voting for a personal friend pledged to strike down 
principles which I hold sacred and dear, or voting for a per- 
sonal enemy pledged to uphold these principles which I hold 
sacred and dear, I shall vote every time for the personal 
enemy. I shall never vote for the sake of personal friendship 
or political friendship or a party name for any principle or 
policy that I believe vicious and not conducive to the peace, 
happiness and prosperity of a majority of the people affected 
by that system, principle or policy. 



196 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"The basis of our political system is the right of the whole 
people, regardless of color, to make and to alter their con- 
stitutions or government. The man who indulges towards an- 
other a habitual political hatred or a habitual political fond- 
ness is a political slave. He is a slave to his political animosity 
or to his political affections, either of which is sufficient to lead 
him astray from his civic duty and the best interest of organ- 
ized society. Negro men are interested only in the best of 
government. They are not in the least bothered about who 
shall administer that good government. 

"I believe that, that governmental policy which would 
close the open saloon to the Negro and open the school house 
door to the Negro, compelling them to go there at least six 
months in the year and learn the useful arts to mankind, there- 
by becoming skilled workmen in wood and stone and scientific 
producers of agricultural products, is better by far than the 
governmental policy which endorses an evil that it spends mil- 
lions each month to suppress and restrain. 

"Ignorance and whiskey cannot uplift a race. Whiskey is 
a deadly foe to all that is refined, excellent, noble and great. 
So is ignorance. When the two meet something terrible always 
happens. Every ignorant Negro and every bottle of liquor 
ought to be separated. The good of decent organized society 
demands this. The peace, happiness and prosperity of both 
races, white and black, depend upon it. The open saloon is 
a great menace and stands as the eternal barrier to the progress 
and uplift of every ignorant man who is tempted to frequent 
saloons. 

"It is my candid judgment that the reason prohibition has 
not obtained in Texas is because the white men who proclaim 
themselves Prohibitionists, put party and individual success 
above the success of the cause of destroying the open saloon. 
The Negro is not responsible for the open saloon in Texas 
and stands ready to co-operate with any movement having a 
tendency to destroy and close up the open saloon, and no man, 
party or set of men can stand in our path and prevent us from 
voting to close the open saloon when permitted to do so. 



A PROHIBITIONIST 197 

"With best wishes for the success of prohibition, I am 

"Faithfully, 

"Wm. M. McDonald." 

Mr. McDonald intended that his letter of September 
21, 1910, should be published in the same paper that 
on the third of the month had carried the damaging 
statement concerning Negroes. But for political rea- 
sons — to impress the public that all of the Prohibitionists 
were united — that there was no discord, that harmony 
existed, the letter was not published. It was a known 
fact that Mr. McDonald was one of the leading Anti- 
Saloon men in the state. He gave his money freely and 
in large amounts to suppress the liquor traffic. He hated 
the open saloon, for he knew its evils, and the untold 
damage done his group. Still he loved his race, and in 
unmistakable terms defended his people. 

Dr. Gambrell replied as follows: 

"Dallas, Texas, September 24, 1910. 
"Mr. Wm. M. McDonald, 

"Fort Worth, Texas. 
"Dear Sir: 

"Returning to my office, I find your communication of recent 
date, with reference to a paragraph which appeared in the 
c Home and State', which you interpreted as a reflection on the 
Negroes as a race. 

"The thing that inspired the paragraph referred to was the 
action of the Negro convention held in Abilene some time ago 
which, among other things, appealed to the Negroes of Texas 
not to allow anybody to furnish them money to pay their poll 
taxes. 

"Of course everyone of intelligence knows that the best 
people of your race are too noble to prostitute their franchise. 
At the same time we know that vast numbers of Negroes have 
will testify that I have sought to help them in every possible 



198 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

way. If I have a record for anything at all it is that of 3 
friend to the Negroes. 

"I judge that when you think this matter over in the light 
of these statements, you will agree with me that the publica- 
tion of your letter would be altogether likely to do more harm 
than good. 

"Yours very truly, 

"J. H. Gambrell, 

"State Superintendent, Anti-Saloon League of Texas" 



CHAPTER XII. 

A State-Wide Prohibitionist. 1911. 

Mr. McDonald is not a local optionist. He believes 
in the will of a majority of the people of the state on 
state matters, and in the will of the greater number of 
the people of the nation on national affairs. When I 
first met him Texas was both "wet" and "dry." In 
other words, local option was sanctioned by the state. 
Towns, cities, even counties, could vote whiskey "in" 
or "out." xA.t that time, fifteen years ago, in the course 
of a conversation, he told me that in a few years Texas 
would be "dry." He also said that the United States 
would close the open saloon. He saw and properly in- 
terpreted the signs of the times. The Federal Consti- 
tution now forbids the sale of whiskey in saloons. 

Mr. McDonald is never too busy to pause and express 
himself on fundamental issues, especially when his 
people are involved. For years most of the prominent 
leaders, in different parts of the state and nation, have 
sought his counsel on local and national matters. In 
March, 1911, Rev. W. L. Dixon, the president of "The 
Dixon Orphanage," at Gilmer, Texas, inquired of Mr. 
McDonald if he was a "local optionist or a state-wide 
Prohibitionist?" 

The following is Mr. McDonald's reply: 

"Fort Worth, Texas, March 14, 1911. 
"Rev. W. L. Dixon, 

"Supt. Dixon Orphanage, 
"Gilmer, Texas. 

199 



200 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"My Good Friend: 

"Yours of recent date came to me through due course of 
mail and but for the fact that I have been engaged with rny 
private affairs I would have answered you before this date. 

"Replying to your question: 'Are you a Local Optionist or 
a State-wide Prohibitionist?' Beg to advise that I am not a 
local optionist. I am a State-wide Prohibitionist. The first 
vote that I ever cast was in 1887 and I cast that vote for State- 
Wide Prohibition. Since that time I have voted in Kaufman 
County three times against local option and one time for 
local option. 

"I do not favor local option because I do not believe in the 
doctrine of the local optionist, or in other words, of the local 
self-governist, in the sense they apply government to towns, 
precincts, cities and districts to the contravention of state or 
national government. The unit of our American government 
is a state and not a town, or a justice precinct, or even a county. 
True, states may be subdivided into towns, justice precincts, 
counties, etc., but no town or precinct or county will or ever 
can be divided or erected into a state. 

"The doctrine of local option carried to its logical conclusion 
will make a state a many-headed monster composed of warring 
towns and precincts; with power and authority lodged in none 
and with no person clothed with authority or the right to 
execute any law or rule of action adopted in the state for the 
benefit of organized society. 

"If local option means this kind of local self-government 
(and as I understand it, it does), then local self-government 
is anarchy and anarchy is brute force of the survival of the 
most masterly. I do not believe in this kind of local self- 
government. In fact, it is not government, and no black man, 
or for that matter no man, should advocate such doctrines. 

RESULTS OF THE DOCTRINE. 

"To illustrate: Suppose for a moment that a bare majority 
of the people of Kaufman County decided to make a law that 
would require every man in that particular county, who was a 
Methodist in his religious views, to pay $300.00 per year to 



A STATE-WIDE PROHIBITIONIST 201 

support the family of the leader of that bare majority or 
spend two years in the county jail. 

"Or suppose a bare majority of the people of Tarrant 
County should pass a law and attempt to enforce it, that every 
man who desired to open and run a gambling house could do 
so, and if the governor or his lawful agents come to Fort 
Worth to stop or interfere with those engaged in that bus- 
iness, put him or his agents in jail for two years. How would 
such laws affect the state? Have not the majority the right 
to do these wicked things if your local self-government is 
tenable? If not, why not? 

"I am firm in the opinion that if the vicious theories of 
local self-government are carried to their logical conclusion, 
the people in Kaufman County, and Tarrant County, would 
have the right to do these wicked things and the people in 
other towns, precincts and districts would be powerless to offer 
a remedy of relief to the minority in these counties. 

"Texas on one occasion, by majority vote of its citizens, 
seceded from the union of States on the very theory and doc- 
trine that is now being advocated by the anti-prohibitionist. 
After four years it by a majority vote of its own citizens went 
back into the union of the States, but the people of Van Zandt 
County, Texas, in their zeal for the doctrine of local self-gov- 
ernment, almost unanimously voted to stay out of the Union. 
They carried local self-government to its logical conclusion 
and met in convention, and solemnly declared Van Zandt 
County to be a free and sovereign State of Van Zandt. If the 
doctrine of local self-government is true, they were right and 
the rest of the people in Texas were wrong, when they forced 
Van Zandt County to get into a county's place. 

MOB. 

"Just a few weeks ago Fort Worth was treated to a rare and 
a rich example of what local self-government is when operated 
in contravention of county or state government. A mob col- 
lected. It was deliberate, cruel, insane, unreasonable and re- 
vengeful. It surged through the business section of the city, 
striking terror to defenseless Negro citizens, wrecking and 
destroying property of white citizens and disgracing the city 



202 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

by trampling the rule of the state and nation under the, brutal 
feet of might. So shameful, disgraceful and unlawful were 
the acts of this mob which moved unresisted through the streets 
of the city, until sane men were struck dumb and paralyzed 
when they awoke next morning that the local self-governist 
had been giving the people of Fort Worth a demonstration 
in the beauties of local government. 

"We were not helped in the least by virtue of the fact that 
the officers of the city of Fort Worth apologized for this 
wicked and awful crime by threatening to give the people of 
Fort Worth curfew laws, and telling the whole world that 
the children of Fort Worth composed the mob. Was not this 
a fearful and frightful indictment against the babies of Fort 
Worth, and thus the question has been put up to the good 
mothers of the city. 

"Where is the seat of protection? Must those who desire 
to live in accord with law and order appeal to the mob for 
protection? Must they call for the police when it is the police 
who is disarming, mobbing and doing the beating. I think 
you will agree with me, that we should have a government, 
grand, sublime and brave enough to compel all local self- 
governists to respect the rules of organized society and thereby 
afford protection to the humblest citizen. I do not believe 
in this kind of local self-government. I think all laws for 
the good or ill of organized society should be uniform and 
state-wide. 

"A long time ago I worked in the law office of Captain 
Z. T. Adams, Kaufman, Texas. He was one of the best law- 
yers in the state of his day. And it was a favorite expression 
of his to say: 'Law is only common sense.' And if law is 
common sense, common sense teaches me that the doctrine 
preached and defined by local optionists as applied to local 
self-government is the grossest kind of nonsense and is de- 
structive of the American system of government. 

"Now you may ask, is local option when voted by a majority 
vote of a particular county, a county law, or is it a state law, or 
can the people of Tarrant County adopt laws that all of the 
people in the state must obey, regardless of what they think 



A STATE-WIDE PROHIBITIONIST 203 

about such laws so adopted? The local optionist will tell you 
that the county can not do this and that it is a state law, although 
it was adopted by just one county, and that the state must 
enforce that local option law. Here is a point of inconsistency 
which the local self-governist or local optionist can never har- 
monize. According to their own theory of government, if a 
county wants a law, it should have it. Or if a majority of a 
county do not want a law, it should not be forced upon them. 
Now, if this theory of local self-government is right, then 
when a man commits a felony in Grayson County, by violation 
of the local option law, should not the grand jury of that 
particular county draw the indictment, citing the fact that 
John McKinney had committed an offense against the peace 
and dignity of Grayson County, and not against the peace and 
dignity of the State of Texas. I believe that it is a felony to 
sell whiskey in Grayson County, but it would not be a felony 
to sell whiskey in Van Zandt County, where the people have 
not adopted prohibition in the County of Van Zandt, since 
the state passed the law, making it a felony to sell whiskey in 
prohibition counties. 

"I do not believe that the people of a county have the power 
or right to make laws in their county contrary to the will and 
wishes of all the other people in the state. I believe all of the 
people in a state are greater than the Constitution of the state, 
because they by a majority vote can abolish by an amendment 
the Constitution in part or in the whole. They have the right 
by virtue of being the majority to make an entire new Consti- 
tution. All the power of government rests with the state and 
the majority of the people in each state has the right to rule 
and govern, while the minority must submit and obey. And 
right here I desire to state that I have an abiding faith in a 
majority of all the people of a state to afford absolute protec- 
tion to the humblest citizen, but it is a well-established fact 
that the minority in most communities are lawless and have 
little respect for the rules of organized society. 

"You ask me, do I think it right for one county of people 
to force their way of thinking and their ideas of government 
on another county, whose people cannot for any reason endorse 



204 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

their method of government. I answer, that if the people in 
any particular county or subdivision of the state should desire 
to adopt any form or method of government that is con- 
trary to the governmental policies of the greater or larger 
subdivisions of the state, it is an inherent right and becomes 
the bonded and obvious duty of the counties not agreeing to 
the particular form of government, being operated in a par- 
ticular county to force their form of government on the 
obstreperous and unwilling county. The best interest of or- 
ganized society demands this. 

"Government is not established to grant exclusive rights 
and privileges to any man or set of men. If you let a minority 
rule a great state, let a minority set at defiance the rules of 
a majority, let a few desecrate the Sabbath, let them carry pis- 
tols, gamble, shoot, kill, organize mobs, lynch, whitecap and 
burn, let them revel in prostitution, let them sell and traffic in 
whiskey, debauch, spoil, wreck and ruin the virtue of young 
girls budding into womanhood, all in the name of self-govern- 
ment, chaos, anarchy, bloodshed will some day mark the Amer- 
ican Republic, like it at one time stained with horror and 
terror the French Republic. 

"You state that many of our people are jealous of 
their few rights and will be reluctant to vote for state-wide 
prohibition on the grounds that prohibition denies them the 
right to drink and eat what they want and desire. 

"Permit me to state that no man of our race who is possessed 
with a poll tax and fit to vote, and who has common hog sense, 
would believe or pretend to believe, that to prohibit the licens- 
ing the open saloon, means to prohibit a man from drinking 
or eating what he wanted or desired. If there is such a foolish 
man belonging to the Negro race in Texas, his friends should 
appeal to some anti-prohibitionist judge and have the poor 
fellow adjudged insane and sent to the Terrell asylum. I 
do not know what you think about it, but I deny that a man 
or a woman has the right to drink whiskey. A man or a 
woman may drink whiskey but neither has the right to drink 
that which destroys the soul and body, that which causes the 
eyes to protrude and blood to surge and coagulate around 



A STATE-WIDE PROHIBITIONIST 205 

them j that which wrecks the entire nervous system and trans- 
forms him or her into a brutish beast. The drink habit is slow 
suicide, death and destruction. Some people say this is a 
free country and a man or a woman can wear shoes or go bare- 
footed, but I venture the suggestion that they cannot go naked 
or nude. Organized society will not stand for that, neither 
will organized society permit a man or woman to commit 
suicide if they can prevent it, and I conclude that the best inter- 
est of the state and all people demands the closing up of the 
open saloon and thereby restrain and minimize the drink habit. 

JOBS AND REVENUES. 

"Reviewing that part of your letter which refers to the 
wages and revenues that will be lost to the Negro by virtue of 
state-wide prohibition, allow me to say, looking at the question 
purely from a Negro viewpoint, there is so little to lose in 
the closing of the open saloon, until the Negro race will not 
miss it. But on the other hand, will make tremendous gains. 
There are nearly 900,000 Negroes in Texas, and not three 
thousand of them make their living directly by services ren- 
dered by virtue of the traffic of whiskey. There are not fifty 
Negroes in all Texas who own and attempt to operate saloons. 
There is not a single Negro in all Texas who owns the house 
or building where he operates a saloon. 

"Out of the fifty Negroes who operate and run their own 
saloons, only twenty-five or thirty of them are putting the 
money which is drawn from the pockets of their poor and 
depraved customers to good use. Of the 2,500 Negro porters 
in white saloons in Texas, less than 1,000 of them attempt to 
invest their money in homes. Of the 2,500 Negro porters in 
white saloons in Texas not 1,000 of them make an effort to 
be good citizens, leading exemplary lives, contributing to the 
material uplift of the race, and living the husband of one wife. 

"In Texas there are in the neighborhood of 3,500 places 
where either beer or whiskey is sold and all the Negroes in 
Texas will spend $5.00 each day in the year in each of the 
3,500 saloons, this is equal to $17,500 per day or the huge pile 
of $5,250,000 yearly, that whiskey costs the 900,000 Negroes 



206 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

in Texas each year. This is indeed a very low estimate of the 
money spent by Texas Negroes in beer and whiskey each year. 

WHAT THEY GET. 

"What do they get in return for the enormous outlay of 
money spent for booze? Now let us see. Two thousand five 
hundred Negro porters in white saloons will draw an average 
of $28.00 per month, which equals $840,000 a year. The 
fifty Negroes who own and operate their own saloons, let us 
suggest clear $100.00 per month. This would equal $60,- 
000.00 for a year. Thus we find by conservative figures that 
the Negroes receive $900,000 in actual cash each year, by 
virtue of the liquor traffic, or in other words, they pay out 
to the open saloon $5,250,000 in order to get back $900,000 
in wages and profits, thereby losing actual cash in the business 
of $4,350,000 yearly. We may not take any account of the 
great loss in money, but what else do they get? The Negroes 
who frequent and spend their idle time in and around the open 
saloon get a long term in the penitentiary, they get from one 
month to three years on rock piles , they get to wear state and 
county stripes 5 they get to wear state, county and city picks, 
iron balls, iron chains around their ankles. They get disease, 
hunger, consumption and death. They lose their character, 
honesty, love, chastity, modesty, virtue, man and womanhood. 

"While under the influence of whiskey and beer they com- 
mit crimes black as midnight, too terrible to mention. While 
under the influence of whiskey and beer, men are robbed of 
their hard earnings and girls of their virtue. What else? 
While under the influence of whiskey, it gives a pretext and an 
excuse for the Negro-hating mob to collect and vent their 
pent-up hatred by wrecking vengeance upon defenseless and 
unprotected colored citizens. It gives a pretext to burn, to 
lynch, to shoot, kill, to torture, to plunder and drive innocent 
hard-working men and women from their homes. 

"Liquor furnishes an excuse for a Negro to turn into a 
fiend of hell and rape, kill and despoil defenseless white 
women, tearing costly jewels from their throat and snatching 
their pocketbooks in broad open daylight, thereby disgracing 



A STATE-WIDE PROHIBITIONIST 207 

the entire Negro race. It furnishes an excuse for white men 
to transform themselves into demons, to insult, debauch and 
strike terror to the hearts and minds of defenseless Negro 
men, women and children. You may contend that this picture 
is overdrawn and grossly exaggerated, but if one-hundredth 
part of it is true, this alone is sufficient cause for all good 
Negro citizens to go shoulder to shoulder with white citizens 
to the polls and vote to destroy the open saloon in our state. 

"Again I repeat, that if local self-government, local option 
and personal liberty are going to cost all of this treasure, blood, 
virtue, peace and contentment ; then I for one must protest in 
the name of future Negro children that are to be born into 
this world and the best interests of all organized society, and 
venture the suggestion that the open saloon is too costly an 
institution for a poor and struggling race to support. 

"I am firm in the position that we who are equipped with 
a poll tax receipt and have a right to vote on the twenty-second 
day of next July, should go to the polls and cast our ballots 
for state-wide prohibition. No man, be he white or black, 
who has studied this question, and who has in the remotest 
degree any well-meaning interest in the Negro race, will have 
the temerity, the cheek and unmitigated nerve to advise the 
Negro race or Negro voters of this state to vote for the per- 
petuation of the open saloon. 

"The white man who advises a Negro or the poor white 
man to vote for the open saloon is moved by selfish motives 
and is in no way interested in the peace, prosperity and hap- 
piness of the toiling masses. They are not your friends and 
they are not our friends. They are not friends to the state 
or organized society. They are not friends to law and order; 
they have no regard for the future and contentment for the 
rising youths of our country. 

"I admit that thousands of Negroes and many thousand of 
poor white men are going to vote in favor of the open saloon, 
but they will vote to put shackles, industrial and otherwise, 
on themselves, their children, your children and mine. 

"I hope that you shall find it in your heart to see your way 
clear to do what little you can to have the people vote for 



208 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

sobriety, man and womanhood, peace and contentment, state 
and home, and the abolition of the open saloon. I am 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Wm. M. McDonald." 




Mrs. S. P. Carrington 

Faithful Stenographer of Mr. McDonald for Sixteen Years 



CHAPTER XIII 

As a Banker 

On January 12, 1912, the Fraternal Bank and Trust 
Company was organized in Fort Worth with the follow- 
ing officers: Tom Mason, president; J. W. McKinney, 
first vice-president; H. C. Bell, second vice-president; 
J. W. Hightower, third vice-president; W. M. Mc- 
Donald, cashier. Directors: W. M. McDonald, Tom 
Mason, J. W. McKinney, J. W. Hightower, Wil- 
liam M. McDonald, Jr. Mr. W. M. McDonald was 
the prime factor in the organization of this bank. 

This bank has been in operation for 13 years. Not 
once has it been closed. Not once has there been a run 
on the bank. This institution enjoys the highest confi- 
dence of the citizens of Texas, and especially the white 
banks of Fort Worth. 

This bank is a great credit to the race. There are 
depositors from all parts of Texas. They number many 
thousands, many of them are white. It is the only bank 
in the Panther City operated by colored folks and has 
a standing equal to the best. The institution has been a 
big help to our people, especially those in Fort Worth. 
Many homes and business concerns have been saved 
through the financial consideration of this bank. It has 
also helped many to secure homes and to enter busi- 
ness. This business concern is the largest operated by 
men of color in Texas. 

To Mr. McDonald, the founder, the organizer, the 

209 



210 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

largest depositor, the brains of its operation, goes the 
credit for the success, the wonderful success of the Fra- 
ternal Bank and Trust Company. As a banker, he has 
been a phenomenal success. Versed in the banking sys- 
tem of his native state, understanding thoroughly the 
banking system of the nation, he has so conducted the 
affairs of his bank that he has the supreme confidence 
of men in all walks of life, both white and colored. 

By training Mr. McDonald is especially fitted to be 
a banker. If my study of men has not been amiss for 
the past forty years, I conclude that nature endowed him 
with all of the essential qualities and attributes of a first- 
class banker. Having received a business education, he 
is well acquainted with the proper and most efficient 
handling of finance. In early life he studied law under 
one of the ablest attorneys in Texas. This enables him 
to handle in a legal way the affairs of his bank in such a 
masterly way that very seldom legal advice is needed. 
Too much cannot be said in honor of this man because of 
the masterly way he has handled his and other people's 
money. 

His financial success, his successful competition in the 
business world, his ability to turn a dollar to good use, 
his honesty and integrity have all made a most profound 
impression upon those with whom he has come in per- 
sonal contact. 

Even if William McDonald had not accomplished 
anything in other lines, the Fraternal Bank and Trust 
Company would stand as a lasting monument to his 
eenius. The institution, as a contribution to the ad- 
vancement of the race, would indeed be more than his 
part in our uplift. We like to think of our great 



AS A BANKER 211 

churches, with towering spires, kissing the rising lumi- 
nary as he ascends the eastern sky. We greatly admire 
the many schools founded for the education of our 
people; schools in which are laboring some of the most 
efficient pedagogues in the history of the human race. 
We speak highly of our successful and up-to-date farm- 
ers, whose produce is feeding thousands of hungry souls. 
We praise in glowing terms our merchants, our lawyers, 
our doctors, our teachers; in fact, we admire any man or 
woman of color who has contributed to the advance- 
ment of the race. When it is taken into consideration 
that we as a race have had a little over fifty years of 
freedom, that we have been surrounded by the sharpest 
competition, that we have had to meet the most brilliant 
Anglo-Saxon in all the ages, even in his own fields of 
human endeavor, the most indifferent, guided by a sense 
of justice, must give us a place in history. 

We need farms, up-to-date farms, and men versed 
in the latest methods of husbandry. We need carpenters 
and architects, men skilled in the art of building and the 
various styles of architecture. We need merchants, men 
and women honest and just, to carry on trade in all com- 
modities. We need teachers, well trained teachers, to 
direct the young that they become useful to the state and 
society. We need learned physicians to prescribe reme- 
dies for our diseases. We need erudite lawyers to plead 
our cause before the courts of the land. We need min- 
isters, men and women authorized to preach the gospel 
of Christ, men and women of character and education, 
with religion and reverence towards God and love for 
humanity, men and women whom God sends to tell the 
story of correct living on this side of eternity and how 



212 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

we may prepare for the immortal life. We need poli- 
ticians, men and women to assist in making the laws of 
this country. In short, we need in our race men and 
women in all vocations of life. Until the masses are 
educated, until ignorance is reduced to a minimum, we 
cannot hope to reach the highest point of efficiency. 

But my good friend, of all our needs as recited above, 
there is no need greater than that of the honest, upright 
banker who handles the savings of people and guides the 
ship of state through distressed waters. One of the main 
drawbacks to my people is that there are not enough 
banks operated by our folks. It is true that we have 
numbers of men in many parts of the country who are 
fully capable educationally and financially to conduct 
banks. The fact that most of our colored folks seem- 
ingly are more willing to place their money in white 
banks may have discouraged many of those who would 
venture in this line. 

Please do not think I am boasting over the attainments 
of this man whom I am trying to place properly before 
the people of this and the coming generation. How- 
ever, I glory in the achievements of this man. In the 
stretch of time from Adam to McDonald, I know of 
no man of whom I would rather sing were I gifted 
with the genius of a Vergil or a Milton than this man, 
William Madison McDonald. The elements of nature 
seem to be so mixed in him that he has been a success in 
every field undertaken. 

It indeed would be a grand and glorious thing for the 
Negroes of this country if we had in every city, in every 
town, a colored banker of his worth and integrity and 
standing. We may get all the religion possible from our 



AS A BANKER 213 

many kinds of churches, we may obtain education until 
we are as learned as were the seven sages of Greece, we 
may acquire the wealth of the two hundred richest 
millionaires of the present age, but until we learn to 
save, to trust men with the character of McDonald 
that he and others like him might properly direct our 
money, we can hope but for little in this life. 



CHAPTER XIV 

Chief Justice Sanhedrin Court. 1912 

When the author came to Fort Worth ten years ago 
one of the most important organizations he found in the 
city was the Sanhedrin Court. He was not in the city 
many days before he became a member of the society. 
When his application for membership was accepted and 
he was initiated he found most of the leading male 
citizens of the city as members. 

The membership of this society is too large for me 
to attempt to give the name of each member; however, 
in justice to the leaders and organizers, I am inclined 
to give a few names: Hon. William M. McDonald, 
Ph. D., since the organization of the Court in 1912, has 
held the position of Chief Justice; Rev. Dr. S. R. 
Prince, pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches 
of the city, is one of the Associate Justices and an author- 
ity on biblical and theological subjects; Mr. Nathan 
Johnson, the leading real estate dealer of the race in 
Fort Worth, another Associate Justice, is an authority 
on questions pertaining to Africa and explorations; Mr. 
W. H. Harvey, the leading insurance man of the city 
of Fort Worth, another Justice, is an authority on insur- 
ance and banking; Prof. W. H. Burnett, A. B., of Ter- 
rell; Prof. W. O. Bundy, A. B.; Prof. J. E. Martin, 
A. B., of Austin; Prof. W. M. Coleman, A. B.; Prof. 
J. J. Burnett, A. B., Cleburne; Dr. W. S. Crosby, Dr. 
G. M. Munchus, Rev. W. C. Jones, Rev. W. T. Waters, 
Mr. Leon Maddox, Mr. William Gillis, Prof. L. M. 

215 



216 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Johnson, A. B., Mr. Harry MaNack, Mr. N. L. Smith, 
Mr. O. C. Crook, Rev. W. G. Upshaw, A. B., Lawyer 
J. Harold Mosely, Rev. W. C. Spencer and S. S. Hemp- 
hill are the leading members. 

The court meets each Saturday at 1 p. m. and adjourns 
at 6 p. m. All charges are first heard by a committee 
consisting of seven members of the court and if there 
are sufficient grounds for a trial the accused party is 
then tried before the Supreme Court. 

The committee on evidence reports its findings to the 
court and a day is set for the trial. The accused is 
allowed council. At the same time the Chief Justice 
names a member to prosecute the defendant in the pres- 
ence of the full membership. 

Aside from trying its members for their tenets, the 
most important business of the court is the hearing of 
debates between the members. All questions of impor- 
tance, local questions, state questions, national questions 
and even world-wide questions are discussed in the San- 
hedrin Court. If a member makes even a grammatical 
error a charge is brought for his violation of the rules 
of the King's English and he must defend himself or 
be silenced in court. 

There is not a society in all the nation composed either 
of white folks or colored folks that offers a better oppor- 
tunity for free discussion than this court. There is not 
a forum in all the land in which are discussed more 
questions. It is not uncommon to hear a debate on the 
origin of man, the age of the earth, the cause of the first 
fall of man, the difference between Heaven and Hell, 
the origin of the universe, the difference between God 
and nature. Theological, scientific, metaphysical, politi- 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 217 

cal, social, educational, in fact all kinds of questions are 
discussed before the court. 

To show how technical the members of the Sanhedrin 
are, kindly allow me to speak of a two weeks' debate 
before the court seven or eight months ago. One of the 
members mentioned above made a statement in the 
presence of the court that the first chicken came from 
an egg. Another member, also mentioned above, ques- 
tioned the statement of the speaker. He wanted to 
know which was made first, the egg or the chicken. One 
argued that there could be no egg without there first 
being a chicken to lay the egg. The other argued that 
there could be no chicken without an egg. 

To settle the question the court decided to give each 
disputant two weeks to prepare arguments on the issue. 
The two members made ample preparation. Many 
books were read. Books on natural science, the origin 
of species, the Bible; in fact, every book that would 
throw any light on the subject from the most ancient 
time to the present was consulted. 

At the appointed time both members made scholarly 
arguments, which indicated much study and research 
on the question. Both went back to the creation of 
things. Evolution, the modernist viewpoint, the funda- 
mentalist point of view, all were discussed. The Su- 
preme Court gave the disputants the assurance that the 
decision, based only on the arguments of each debater, 
would be handed down December 12, 1925. 

In 1915 Rev. W. G. Upshaw, A. B., S. T. B., filed 
three questions before the court. After four weeks of 
discussion before the Sanhedrin, in the presence of a 
large number of citizens, the court asked its chief justice, 



218 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the Hon. Wm. M. McDonald, to give a written opinion 
in reply to Dr. Upshaw's questions. The following was 
delivered by Chief Justice McDonald: 

A society composed of clergymen, doctors, lawyers, profes- 
sors and civilians, calling themselves "Truth Seekers," was 
organized in 1912 in Fort Worth, Texas. For the purpose 
of order and decorum the society organized a supreme court j 
composed of one chief justice and eight associate justices 5 to 
determine all questions of debate. An opinion written by any 
member of the court, concurred in by four members of the 
court, is to become the ruling opinion of the entire society. 
All words, phrases or terms to be used in conveying ideas are 
to be defined by Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 
when the meaning of a word used is denied or questioned. 
Wm. M. McDonald, Ph. D., has since the organization of 
the court, held the position of chief justice. 

On the subjects "What Do I Know?" "What Can I Do?" 
"What May I Hope For?" he handed down the following 
opinion : 

"STATE OF TEXAS, 

County of Tarrant, ss: 

"The Honorable Sanhedrin Court in and for the State of 
Texas, County of Tarrant, having had certified to it the fol- 
lowing questions, to- wit: 

"I. 'What Do I Know?' 
"II. 'What Can I Do?' 
"III. 'What May I Hope For?' 

"These questions having been duly and regularly filed by 
Prof. W. G. Upshaw in good faith and with pure motives as 
a rational, reasonable human being seeking only truth 5 the 
Chief Justice of the Honorable Sanhedrin Court of the State 
of Texas, County of Tarrant, now comes forward and hands 
down the following opinion: 

OPINION 

"From the foregoing questions we are compelled by reason 
to conclude that the questioner is a human being seeking the 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRI NCOURT 219 

TRUTH with respect to FORCE AND MATTER as they 
are applied to himself. 

"The First Question, 'WHAT DO I KNOW?' when anal- 
yzed by all accepted rules, refers to the person speaking and 
can be applied to the person speaking only — UPSHAW. 

"Now UPSHAW can only know what he experiences, ob- 
serves and is taught by human reason. Beyond this he cannot 
know. Knowledge consists of forces or things which human 
language give names. UPSHAW'S mind cannot conceive of 
the existence of FORCE separate from MATTER. He can 
therefore know that: FORCE CANNOT EXIST APART 
FROM MATTER. MATTER exists only in connection 
with FORCE, therefore; UPSHAW knows that a FORCE 
apart from matter and superior to nature is a demonstrated 
impossibility. 

"Now UPSHAW, being a rational human being must know 
that FORCE has existed from eternity and therefore could 
not have been created and MATTER in its countless forms 
from dead earth, to the eyes of those he loves, and FORCE in 
all its manifestations from simple Motions to the grandest 
thought, deny creation and defy control. UPSHAW knows 
that thought is a form of FORCE. He walks with the same 
FORCE with which he thinks. 

"UPSHAW knows that he is an organism, that changes 
several forms of force into thought-force. 

"UPSHAW knows that he is a machine into which he puts 
what he calls food and produces what he calls THOUGHT. 
According to this chain of FINITE logic and reasoning, UP- 
SHAW knows that a God must not only be material (because 
he cannot think of Force separate from Matter), but he must 
be an organism capable of changing other forms of FORCE 
into thought-force. This is what UPSHAW calls eating. 
Therefore, if the God thinks he must eat, that is to say he 
must of necessity have some means of supplying the Force 
with which to think. 

"UPSHAW does know that it is impossible to conceive of 
a being who can eternally impart FORCE to MATTER and 
yet have no means of supplying the FORCE thus imparted. 



220 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 



"Now again in order to show UPSHAW what he does 
know, I wish to ask: THAT IF NEITHER MATTER NOR 
FORCE WERE CREATED, WHAT EVIDENCE HAS 
HE, THEN OF THE EXISTENCE OF A POWER SU- 
PERIOR TO NATURE? If you answer, <I have LAW and 
Order, Cause and EFFECT, and besides all this, MATTER 
could not have put itself in motion.' Now let's see. 

"Well a little while ago it was proven that there is no being 
superior to Nature and that MATTER and FORCE have 
existed from eternity. 

"Now, suppose that two atoms should come together, don't 
you know there would be an EFFECT? YES. Suppose they 
come in exactly opposite directions with equal force, don't you 
know they would be stopped, to say the least? This would be 
EFFECT and you do know it. Therefore, if this is so, then 
UPSHAW knows that he has MATTER, FORCE and EF- 
FECT without a being superior to NATURE. 

"Now let us suppose that two other atoms just like the first 
two should come together under precisely the same circum- 
stances do you know that the EFFECT would be exactly the 
same? YES. 

"UPSHAW knows that like causes producing like EF- 
FECTS, is what he means by law and order. Therefore, 
UPSHAW knows that he has MATTER, FORCE, EF- 
FECT, LAW and ORDER, without a being superior to NA- 
TURE. 

"UPSHAW knows that every EFFECT must also be a 
cause and that every CAUSE must be an EFFECT. The 
atoms coming together did produce an EFFECT and as every 
EFFECT must also be a cause, the EFFECT produced by the 
collision of the atoms must as to something else have been a 
CAUSE. Thus, again, UPSHAW knows that he has MAT- 
TER, FORCE, LAW, ORDER, CAUSE and EFFECT, 
without a being superior to NATURE. 

"Now, UPSHAW knows that nothing is left for him to 
talk about but empty space. His throne is a void and his far 
off Country is without Matter, without Force, without Law, 
without Cause and without Effect. 



. 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 221 

"UPSHAW knows that if MATTER and FORCE have 
existed from eternity that therefore MATTER has always 
been in MOTION ; because there can be no FORCE with- 
out MOTION. 

"UPSHAW knows that a being outside of NATURE 
exists in nothing, and is nothing. UPSHAW knows that NA- 
TURE embraces with infinite arms all MATTER and all 
FORCE. That which is beyond her grasp is destitute of both 
and can hardly be worth the worship and adoration of a man. 

"ALL OF THE ABOVE IS WHAT PROF. UPSHAW 
DOES KNOW. 

"I shall now attempt to set down or point out Question II. 
WHAT UPSHAW CAN DO.' 

"From a philosophical point of view Science is knowledge 
of the laws of life 5 of the conditions of happiness; relations 
he sustains to men and things, by means of the facts by which 
UPSHAW is surrounded and the which UPSHAW, so to 
speak, subjugates NATURE and bends the elemental powers 
to his WILL, making blind FORCE the servant of his brain. 

"If UPSHAW should admit that some infinite being has 
controlled the destinies of himself and other peoples, history 
becomes a most cruel and bloody farce. Age after age the 
strong have trampled upon the weak; the crafty and heartless 
have ensnared and enslaved the simple and innocent and no- 
where in all the annals of mankind has any Supreme Being 
succored the oppressed. UPSHAW should cease to expect aid 
from unseen Spirits. By this time UPSHAW should know 
that Spirits have no ears to hear and no hands to help. The 
present is the necessary child of all the past. If abuses are 
destroyed man must destroy them. If slaves are freed man 
must free them. If new TRUTHS are discovered, man must 
discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are 
fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is 
driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and 
if the RIGHT finally triumphs, all must be the work of UP- 
SHAW and his kind — man. All of the grand victories of 
the present and future must be won by man. 

"NATURE, so far as UPSHAW can discern without pas- 



222 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

sion and without intention forms, transforms and retransf orms 
forever. She neither weeps or rejoices. She produces man 
without purpose and obliterates him without regret. She 
knows no distinction between the beneficial and the hurtful. 
Poison and nutrition, pain and joy, life and death, smiles and 
tears are alike to her. She is neither merciful nor cruel. She 
can not be flattered by worship, nor melted by tears. She does 
not know even the attitude of prayer. She appreciates no 
difference between poison in the fangs of snakes and mercy in 
the hearts of men. Only through man does NATURE take 
cognizance of the good, the true and the beautiful 5 and so far 
as UPSHAW knows — man, his kind, is the highest intelli- 
gence. 

"PROF. UPSHAW must learn to rely upon himself. Read- 
ing what is called sacred manuscript will not protect him from 
the blasts of winter, but houses, fires, food and clothing will. 
To prevent famine, one plow and a good span of mules with an 
able man in charge is worth a million prayers to an unseen 
Spirit, and even patent medicines will cure more diseases than 
all the petitions sent up since the beginning of the world. 

"Now PROF. UPSHAW can teach or tell mankind that 
the history of the world shows that denominational religion 
has made enemies instead of friends ; that the phrase 'DE- 
NO MI NATIONAL RELIGION,' paints the horizon of the 
past with every form of agony and torture and when one pro- 
nounces the name of religion he must think of Fifteen Hun- 
dred Years of persecution, of Six Thousand Years of hatred, 
slander and vituperation. If the question ever comes up in 
your presence and you are asked, 'Can any relation exist be- 
tween finite man and infinite God?' answer them frankly and 
manly tell them that an Infinite Being is absolutely condi- 
tional. Tell them that an Infinite Being cannot walk, cannot 
receive j and that a Finite Being cannot give to Infinite. Tell 
them that they cannot increase his happiness or decrease his 
misery. Tell them that there is no God anywhere who will 
give rain or sunshine for prayer. Teach mankind that the 
Finite cannot by any possibility help the Infinite, or the Infinite 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 223 

be indebted to the Finite; that the Finite cannot by any possi- 
bility assist a Being who is ALL IN ALL. 

"Then, WHAT CAN I DO? I can help man, I can help 
clothe the naked, feed the hungry; I can help break the chains 
of the slave; I can help weave a garment of joy that will 
finally cover this world. I can help drive out ignorance and 
crush superstition. I can let my thoughts fly out into the 
dome of thought and question the Stars and the billions of 
firey worlds for myself. 

"At another time I shall attempt to point out 'What Prof. 
Upshaw may hope for.' " 

Prof. Upshaw submitted an argument controverting the 
above opinion, then the Chief Justice, McDonald, rendered a 
counter opinion, to-wit: 

COUNTER OPINION 

"We handed down an opinion with respect to the question: 
'What Can I Know?' This question was certified to the Court 
of Prof. W. G. Upshaw, who styles himself 'TRUTH 
SEEKER.' Our opinion was drawn out of the fact, or hypoth- 
esis that Dr. Upshaw can only know: 

{Experiences 
Observes 
Is taught by human reason. 
"Therefore, beyond this he cannot know, because: 

"Knowledge is the establishment in thought of determin- 
ate relations and knowledge consists in forces or things which 
human language gives names. Therefore, Dr. Upshaw can 
know only what he experiences, observes and is taught by 
human reason. 

"The Chief Justice thinks this is reason and will stand the 
acid test of research or the white lights of truth. 

"Dr. Upshaw says: 'Now Upshaw can know as related by 
Hon. Wm. M. McDonald what he experiences, observes and 
is taught by reason, but in addition is taught by the appercep- 
tive processes and is further fed by Divine revelation.' 

"Certainly Dr. Upshaw does not thrust himself any further 



224 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to the fore than he was by the addition, 'The apperceptive 
processes/ which he says is further fed by 'Divine Revelation.' 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw fails to point OUT or SHOW 
what he can know that is not covered by experience, observa- 
tion, or is taught him by human reason, but he can know it by 
or through the 'apperceptive processes' fed by Divine Revela- 
tion. Until he points OUT the genesis and defines the use 
by illustration of the apperceptive processes, fed by Divine 
Revelation, the Chief Justice need not seek to refute the 
assertion, but may dismiss it as immaterial to this review. 

"The apperceptive processes fed by Divine Revelation can- 
not be separate and apart from mind, because knowing implies 
something acted upon and something acting upon it. To see 
that this is undeniable, the Chief Justice has but to call atten- 
tion to three intelligible propositions which can alone be formed 
respecting the ultimate character of cognition. Suppose the 
thing presented in consciousness persists unchanged. Then as 
in the absence of change there is consciousness, there can be no 
knowledge. Suppose there follows something which has no 
determinate relation whatever to its antecedent — then the 
change being wholly indeterminate there is no knowledge, since 
knowledge is the establishment in thought of determinate 
relations. 

"Hence there is no way that Dr. Upshaw can know but: 

{ Experiences 
"What he < Observes and is 

(Taught by human reason. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw says: 'Upshaw's mind can con- 
ceive of Force as separate from matter and this he does when 
he conceives of the Great God, who by whatever term of 
nomenclature you choose to denominate Him, Mind or Force, 
exists apart from and superior to Matter.' 

"Evidently the learned Dr. Upshaw imagines that in this 
false and fallacious premises he has logically arrived at a 
correct conclusion. But the Chief Justice wishes to remind him 
that false in premises he is bound to reach false or erroneous 
conclusions. Neither will correct reasoning from a false prem- 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 225 

ises help this learned Doctor of Metaphysics out of his 
dilemma. 

Instinct 
Reason 
Perception 
"The mind classifications include: (Conception 

(Memory 
Imagination 
Will, etc. 

"Dr. Upshaw will hardly contend seriously that conception 
is knowledge or to conceive is to know. To conceive of Force 
as separate from Matter is not tenable or reasonable, because 
there can be no Force without Matter. Dr. Upshaw being a 
rational human beings must know that Force and Matter have 
existed from eternity. This is an axiom. Therefore, human 
reasoning will conclude that Matter in its countless forms and 
Force in all its manifestations, deny creation and defy control. 
The learned Dr. Upshaw must point OUT who he was, and 
when was it; and how Matter was created without Force, 
before be can in reason contend that Force is separate and apart 
from Matter. Until he successfully does this his premises 
that — 'That Upshaw's mind can conceive of Force as separate 
from Matter,' is a fallacy and his conclusion that 'A God who 
by whatever term of nomenclature you choose to denominate 
Him, Mind or Force exists apart from and superior to Mat- 
ter,' is false and erroneous and is undemonstratable by any 
process of human reason. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw again says: ( Since nature is the 
child of Divinity it must have a cradle and if a cradle y then a 
grave? 

"Here our learned Doctor and honest Truth Seeker asserts 
and states that Divinity is the Father or Genesis of Nature. 
But the learned Dr. Upshaw fails to tell us how the Chief 
Justice can know that Nature is the Child of Divinity — hence 
the Chief Justice is compelled to dismiss the statement as a 
fallacious assertion ; absolutely undemonstratable. It is hardly 
necessary to again point out the fallacy of the learned Doctor's 
contentions for his premises having no basis in Truth or Rea- 



226 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

son, his conclusions are bound to be at fault and without foun- 
dation. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw says (here calling himself Truth 
Seeker) : c Truth Seeker accepts the proposition that Force has 
existed from Eternity and also during the primeval sector of 
Eternity but that Force was latent until the advent of Matter, 
which formed a tangible medium for its operation. Now Force 
and Matter as plainly demonstrated are not co-existent in their 
biogenesis. Therefore Truth Seeker accepts that Force was not 
created^ but in order that it might demonstrate its existence, 
Matter y its progeny, was brought forth from the womb of 
chaos, for only as it acts and reacts on Matter is its presence 
manifested to finite cognition. This idea does not preclude the 
infinite existence of Force, even before finite cognition had 
birth. Were it true that Force could not exist apart from 
Matter, all inventions and mind operations would be impossible 
from the fact that mind could not fly out in the dome of 
THOUGHT AND SECURE SPACE FOR THE PLACE- 
MENT OF MATTER.' 

"Now as regards to Truth Seeker's admissions to certain 
facts and his meaningless but beautiful assertions above, put 
down by our learned Truth Seeker, the Chief Justice need not 
here make effort to controvert. They contradict themselves. 
He does not bring forward a new premises, but he asserts or 
concludes that 'All inventions and mind operations would be 
impossible, from the fact that mind could not fly out in the 
dome of thought and secure space for the placement of mat- 
ter.' Now, how can the learned Doctor know this? Only 
through experience, observation and what he is taught by 
human reason. The learned Doctor must admit that thought 
is a form of Force and must act in connection with Matter. 
Therefore, to have thought 'fly out separate and apart from 
Matter' without the reflections of Matter is an impossibility. 

"Our Truth Seeker speaks out in meeting and says: i The 
opinion that the "Ego" or Truth Seeker is merely an organism 
is erroneous from the fact that he is a creation and as sttoh is 
endowed with "free moral agency" bequeathed to him by his 
Creator, which idea is inconceivable when applied to an organ- 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 227 

ism and would be equally erroneous when affiled to a machine, 
since this would produce perpetual motion, which is truly a 
demonstrated impossibility. Therefore the idea that food pro- 
duces Thought is erroneous, since food only furnishes the 
material upon which the mind acts and reacts. If the idea 
obtained that food produces Thought or Force, then there 
could be no Force without food and food would per se have 
to precede Force in EXISTENCE, WHICH IS TRULY A 
DEMONSTRATED IMPOSSIBILITY.' 

"Now let us examine this paragraph, but before doing so, 
we shall define the word Ego — if Truth Seeker wishes to 
convey to us a forefetched idea in the use of the word Ego 
and start us on a mental chase he misses out. The Chief 
Justice defines Ego to mean the entire man considered as 
union of Soul and Body. Granting that our learned Doctor 
is Union of Soul and Body, would not deny the fact that Up- 
shaw walks with Force, thinks with Force and is an organism 
that changes several forms of force into Thought-force. Again 
the conscious and permanent subject of all psychical exper- 
iences j whether held to be directly known or known only 
through reflective Thought is a clear demonstration that Up- 
shaw is an organism. 

"The learned Truth Seeker speaks of 'Free moral agency.' 
We dismiss the statement or phrase as not germain to the 
questions under review and from the further fact there is no 
such conditions in nature as 'Free moral agency. 5 Matter, 
Force, Cause, Effect, Law, Order, Motion, etc., are the sum 
totals of Nature. Therefore, Free moral agency can have no 
place in Nature. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw grows eloquent and here uses 
beautiful figures of speech when he says: 'The Ganges River 
flowed many years before the spring at its source was known 
or conceived, but the ignorance of the source did not preclude 
the fact that it existed. Finite cognition, though it may not 
conceive of the Being imparting Force does not preclude the 
existence of that Being. I would further invite the Chief 
Justice to walk out into the refreshing breezes on a star-lit, 
night and cast his eyes to yon firey heavens and behold th^ 



228 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

millions of stars as they twinkled and trembled in their dia- 
mond sockets, and then ask himself the question, if these be 
the progeny of nature, and if nature be the only medium of 
PRODUCING FORCE, THEN WHERE IS ITS SUP- 
PLY?' 

"Regardless of the beautiful style employed above by Truth 
Seeker in making his assertions, he falls into error by presum- 
ing that he knows a truth or a fact because it existed. There 
have always been 360 degrees in a circle, but Upshaw did not 
know this until it was taught by human reason, etc. He should 
not forget the question. The question is 'What Can I Know? * 
Truth Seeker should not forget that all the firey heavens, all 
the millions of stars, etc., are forms of Matter and manifesta- 
tions of Force and it stands to reason that they are fed or 
supplied by the process of nature. 

"Dr. Upshaw thinks he has evidence of a Superior Being — 
the Truth Seeker says: i The evidence of a Superior Being is 
that there is no change in Matter except as imparted by Force. 
Now this Force that is able to impart these multiform and com- 
plex changes in Matter and to provide it with a grave surely is 
able to provide it with a cradle. Hence law and order, cause 
and effect are the products of this pre-existing Force which is 
superior to and apart from Matter' 

"Now it is not the Chief Justice's desire to take from or deny 
Dr. Upshaw the right to believe in a Superior Being. But this 
generosity does not destroy the fact that if neither Matter nor 
Force was created — Upshaw does not know of the existence 
of a power Superior to Nature and that so far as Nature is con- 
cerned there are no cradles nor graves. Nature without passion 
and without intention forms, transforms and re-transforms 
forever. She neither weeps nor rejoices. She produces man 
without purpose, and obliterates him without regret. There- 
fore, so far as Dr. Upshaw can discern or know nature had 
no beginning nor will have any end. 

"Now with regards to cause and effect, every cause is an 
effect as to something else and every effect is a cause as to 
something else. The functions of nature are the same today as 
it were billions of years ago. Two parts of hydrogen 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 229 

blended with one part of oxygen have always produced water 
and will always do so. It is the countless forms of laws which 
gives us variety. Every class of law of nature is careless of 
the working of the other class. Therefore it is a demonstrated 
impossibility to have universal stagnation. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw seems to forget that there is no 
hiatus between motion and matter. Matter, Force, Motion, 
Law, Order, Cause, Effect, Time and Space are all correspond- 
ences; that is to say that the one could not exist separate and 
independent of the other. A chain can be no stronger than its 
weakest link. Therefore, the chain of argument, devoid of 
reasoning, which the learned Dr. Upshaw brings forward to 
sustain what he is pleased to call COUNTER OPINION, but 
simply unsupported assertion, that have no basis in human 
knowledge. He had adopted a common controversial prac- 
tice of which the formula is — when you cannot meet an opinion 
that has been set forth, put forth a new opinion and thereby 
raise new issues. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw says: C I shall not attempt an 
answer to opinion No. 2? Indeed he is brave and starts out 
with a view in search of truth. The Chief Justice pointed out 
to this learned Doctor a few things that he ought to do, and 
because the Chief Justice did not tell him to do things of 
which we clearly had no knowledge, he threw off his mask as 
a Truth Seeker, became a blind believing partisan, and an 
apoligyist and proceeded to write down a whole thesis demon- 
strating what he could not know. 

The Chief Justice wishes to be fair with the learned Doctor 
Truth Seeker, but the Chief Justice might with good ground 
conclude that it is useless to discuss a philosophical question 
with one who professes to have a consciousness of something 
which the Chief Justice finds it impossible to frame any con- 
sciousness of. If two contestants give different meanings to the 
words and phrases used and still more if one sees a meaning, 
where the other sees none, there is no chance of an agreement 
between them. 

SUMMARY 

"The learned Dr. Truth Seeker says: 'That he can know 



230 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

by the apperceptive processes (meaning that he can know by 
leaving off experience, observation and human reason.') He 
affirms that these processes 'Is further fed by Divine Revela- 
tions.' He asserts that 'His mind can conceive of Force as 
separate from Matter.' He states 'That he conceives of a 
Great God who exists apart from and superior to Matter or 
nature;' he sets it down as a fact, 'That Nature is the child of 
Divinity.' He denies that 'Matter, Force, Motion, Law, 
Order, Cause, Effect, Space and time have existed from etern- 
ity.' He denies 'That man is an organism,' and stamp man as 
'Free Agency.' Now the Chief Justice's consciousness; he 
being a rational human being will not allow him to so conclude. 

"Unless we supposed that the learned Doctor is using words 
to which he attaches no ideas we must suppose that he can think 
of undifferentiated Forces, things or space in which there are 
no positions; and as we are utterly incapable of doing this 
there does not exist between us that common ground upon 
which two Truth Seekers can stand and which is needful before 
argument can be carried on to any purpose. 

"The learned Dr. Upshaw ought to know that Matter, 
Force, Motion, Law, Order, Cause, Effect, Time, Space, etc., 
are the sum total of Nature. That Nature transforms and re- 
transforms forever. It is proven in Mathematics, Physics, 
Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. To aid Truth Seeker, 
the Chief Justice formulates an example. 

"The one in Mathematics: A circle and a straight line 
seem absolutely unrelated, and yet we may pass from the 
one to the other by unbroken movement. Cut a cone at right 
angles to its axis and the result is a circle. Incline the cutting 
plane in the slightest degree and the circle becomes an ellipse. 
Increase the inclination and the ellipse grows more eccentric, 
until it passes into an hyperbola as the parallelism to the side 
becomes complete. Further rotation of the plane turns the 
parabola into an hyperbola which changes its forms with every 
change of position of the plane; until when the plane emerging 
from the opposite side of the cone becomes a tangent plane 
the two sides of the hyperbola coalesce and become a straight 
line. 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 231 

"Now take a case from physics to one less learned than Dr. 
Upshaw and indeed to one whose knowledge is limited to that 
given by ordinary education nothing could seem more absurd 
than the assertion that heat and motion are but different forms 
of the same thing. Motion, he would say, rapid or slow as 
you may make it, must ever remain motion ; and heat, increase 
or decrease its intensity in whatever degree you please, must 
always remain heat. Nevertheless their reciprocal converti- 
bility is a proved truth. When a bullet placed on an anvil is 
struck by a hammer what disappears as arrested motion of the 
hammer reappears as increased heat of the lead. When steam 
is let into a cylinder the heat it loses as it expands is trans- 
formed into motion of its own mass and sundry masses of 
iron. Though molecular motion is intrinsically of the same 
nature as molar motion, yet the unaggerated form in which 
it exists in the other case, that it appears to common sense and 
less learned persons as Dr. Upshaw inconceivable that the two 
are but different modes of one. 

"Chemistry furnishes countless instances of transformations 
from which qualities that appear radically different results. 
Now let's see. Here is a piece of phosphorus, semitransparent, 
waxy-looking, luminous in the dark, showing a powerful affin- 
ity for oxygen, burning flesh which it touches and hence acting 
as a poison when swallowed. Expose it for a certain time to 
the temperature of 230 degrees while oxygen is excluded and 
all is changed. It has become brick-colored, perfectly opaque, 
non-luminous, chemically inert, and may be swallowed in 
large quantities with impunity. Having neither lost nor gained 
in weight, nor in any way changed its ultimate nature, it has yet 
by re-arrangements of its molecules acquired different prop- 
erties. 

"Biology is full of examples. One who is lacking entirely 
the ideas insensibly taken in during ordinary life was brought 
suddenly face to face with the facts would find it incredible 
that hair and nerve, tooth and eye had all arisen by insensible 
steps out of the same originally uniformed dermal tissue. If 
he contemplated the parts which carry on the pulmonic circula- 
tion as they exist in man or any other mammal, he would con- 



232 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

elude that their connection is necessary and must have existed 
from the beginning; arguing as he might that the right auricle 
and ventrical would be useless in the absence of the lungs and 
that the lungs would be useless without the right auricle and 
ventricle. 

" 'See,' he might say, c if you stop the breath the heart soon 
ceases to pulsate and if the heart stops, the breathing quickly 
comes to an end. Clearly then the two must have co-existed 
as such from the beginning. The interdependent functions 
constitute a form of physiological action/ yet the investiga- 
tions of biologists show that no such arrangement originally 
existed, but that this reciprocal dependence has been established 
by degrees. 

"The Chief Justice promised to hand down an opinion as 
to what may Dr. Upshaw Hope For? But since the learned 
Doctor Truth Seeker denies what he can know, maintains that 
he, a finite being, can help the infinite Being, his mind is hardly 
in a mood to be enlightened by an opinion from the Chief Jus- 
tice, on 'WHAT MAY HE HOPE FOR?' " 

Many decisions have been handed down by the Chief 
Justice, but the above written opinion is a fair illustra- 
tion of the many that have been rendered. All import- 
ant questions are heard by the nine judges and very often 
the chief justice is asked to write the opinion of the 
court. This then becomes the duty of Chief Justice 
McDonald. Often his opinion is published and many 
have read his conclusions with much interest. 

It is not very difficult to become a member of the 
Sanhedrin, but it does take a very studious individual to 
remain a member. One must be able to take part in the 
discussions, must show a fair knowledge of current sub- 
jects, must have a fair understanding of history, both 
ancient and modern, must have read the Bible and sev- 
eral of the best works on science. 



CHIEF JUSTICE SANHEDRIN COURT 233 

In a large measure the influence of the Sanhedrin 
Court controls the actions of the colored citizens in and 
about Fort Worth. Public sentiment is largely moulded 
in the court. Men who may be running for city, county, 
state and national office are discussed pro and con. The 
conclusion reached by a majority of the members of the 
Sanhedrin is agreed to by all and as a rule they cast their 
votes accordingly. I am certain that there is not an 
organization in the state of Texas that controls the action 
of a larger per cent of its members along political lines 
than does this unique court. 

If a public speech is made in the city of Fort Worth 
and a member of the court hears the speaker, a detailed 
report of the speech is made and fully discussed by mem- 
bers of the society. The conclusion reached by the court 
has much weight with the people of the city and state. 
Often the speaker is invited before the Sanhedrin to 
explain his conclusions on certain phases of his argu- 
ment. 

Many of the sermons preached in a radius of one hun- 
dred miles of the home city of the court are reviewed 
and many of our members are effected often more 
largely by the opinions of the court than by conclusions 
reached by the preacher. Most every question that ef- 
fects the welfare of the community is fully discussed in 
the Sanhedrin. 

The influence of the court is far reaching for very 
frequently men from other states are present and give 
their ideas on local and national questions. The elee- 
mosynary spirit of the Sanhedrin is unexcelled. I have 
known the court to pause to collect funds for some 
church or worthy solicitor. I have known the court 



234 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to raise money for some sick brother or sister, or for some 
worthy cause. 

The Sanhedrin stands for the uplift of humanity. It 
believes in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood 
of Man. It believes in a square deal for all men. It 
believes that all men should be punished to the same 
extent for the violation of the laws of the country. It 
stands for the purity of the home and church and state. 
It praises all that is right and condemns all that is wrong. 
As far as human understanding goes, this court, the San- 
hedrin, stands for humanity. 

William M. McDonald was the originator and the 
organizer, and is now the Chief Justice of this court, 
which is doing so much for the elevation of all who 
come or may come under its influences. His efforts 
along this line entitle him to an abiding place in the 
memory of man. The results accomplished in this 
society even if his genius had not been demonstrated in 
other lines, would justify an abiding place in the mem- 
ory of this and the coming generations. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Welcome to Bishops of A. M. E. Church. 1921. 

Many gatherings of national importance have met 
in the state of Texas in the last twenty-five years. Dele- 
gations from every state in the Union have come to 
Texas, representing most every profession and calling. 
The fame of the state has gone out. People have read 
of its enormous size, its unlimited resources, its broad 
and fertile plains, its delightful climate, its thousands of 
cattle which alone fdr food would supply the meat mar- 
kets of the world for many years. They have read of 
the thousands of acres of snow-white cotton; that "Cot- 
ton is King" in Texas, and that the state produces 
annually more than 4,000,000 bales of approximately 
500 pounds each, or one-third of the crop of the entire 
Cotton Belt. They have read of the heroic deeds of 
the people of Texas; how they settled the state, served 
the Mexican government and won their independence in 
1836, and later entered the Union as one of the United 
States. They know that Texas is by far the largest 
state in the Union, having an area of 265,896 square 
miles — as large as the combined area of the New Eng- 
land and Middle Atlantic States. These facts and 
others cause many to desire to come to the Lone Star 
State. 

Many of these national gatherings have been 
addressed by William McDonald. The local folks 
have felt that he could extend the desired welcome in 

235 



236 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

behalf of the citizens of Texas. On these occasions he 
has exceeded the fondest expectations of his many 
friends. No one knows the history of Texas better than 
McDonald. No one knows the people better; their 
struggles, their accomplishments, their aspirations and 
hopes; therefore, no one is better prepared to represent 
them. 

I would love to give many of his welcome addresses, 
but space will not permit. Many of them are in printed 
form and may be secured. However, I call your atten- 
tion to the following address, delivered to the Bishops 
in their annual national gathering at Dallas, Texas, in 
1921: 

"Fellow Christians , Men and Women: 

"I would be less than human if I did not feel keenly the 
high distinction shown me by Doctor Abbington and his asso- 
ciates in designating me to welcome, upon behalf of all citizens 
of Texas, the presiding Bishop's Council of the greatest 
Christian church organization with centralized power among 
colored people on earth. 

"This is a time that tries men's souls. It is a time when 
civil governments, as well as ecclesiastical, are being tried by 
the acid test of the ages, and the Christian profession itself is 
exposed and thrown under the white lights of eternal truth. 
Amidst all this confusion, hate and chaos it is fitting that the 
great heads of African Methodism meet and take council 
together. 

The good people of Texas are so closely allied with the 
work, mission, objects and aims of the great African Methodist 
Episcopal Church, functioned through its learned and pow- 
erful bishops, coupled with its splendid laymen, cultured and 
refined women, until we come out to greet you and extend to 
you all a sincere Christian welcome. 

"For the moment, bishops and my Christian friends, we are 
glad, to call your attention to a few of the serious problems 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 237 

confronting the citizens of Texas, as well as to recall a few 
historical facts touching the great church you have the honor 
to represent. If there be anyone present perturbed by a secret 
thought or doubt as to the propriety of my bringing this 
subject, "The Educational History of the A. M. E. Church 
and Our Problems of Life," for discussion forward on this 
occasion, let me hasten to allay his or her fears with the assur- 
ance that I shall carefully refrain from all offensive personal 
allusions to any section or state, gentlemen, or collection of 
gentlemen, whom I might think or you may think responsible 
for the false and malicious standards of moral ethics or evil 
sentiment and unjust laws affecting any of the many phases of 
our problems of life and our civil, economical, religious and 
educational advancement. 

"No public issue is more deserving of thoughtful considera- 
tion by the people, both black and white, and no occasion 
could be more fitting for its discussion than the present one. 
This audience is qualified in head and heart to appreciate at 
its true value every historical fact presented and every argu- 
ment that may be advanced. Words spoken here may be 
heard in all parts of our great Union and in this state, echoing 
amongst the pine hills on the Sabine of East Texas to the Rio 
Grande on the west, and from the Red River on the north to 
the waters of the Gulf on the south. 

"At the outset we should realize that if we are to make any 
genuine progress toward a right solution of the problem of 
life, we must approach it in a spirit of utmost candor and with 
an eye single to the ascertainment of truth. 

"The pessimist, sailing the Vesuvian Bay, listens for the 
rumblings of the dreaded mountain, blind to the wondrous 
beauties of earth and sky about him. The optimist, floating 
down the placid upper stream, pictures to himself an endless 
panorama of peaceful landscape, deaf to the thundering cata- 
ract of the Niagara just below him. But, better than 
pessimism and better than optimism, is that philosophy which 
faces facts as they are and courageously interprets their 
meaning. 

In the early days of civilization, ignorance was the rule, not 



238 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the exception. But with the advent of Christ and His teach- 
ings, a silent, gentle, yet all-compelling force began its work 
on the universal heart of humanity. 

"In these days religion and education adjusted themselves 
to the existing governmental institutions, including slavery. 
But it inculcated such lofty doctrines of love and duty, and 
created such vivid conceptions of a universal liberty and 
humanity for us all, that it was only a question of time when 
educated people could cling to the doctrine that ignorance and 
slavery were beneficial for certain classes of human beings, 
and that religion, education, culture, refinement and enlighten- 
ment were the inherited possessions of the other classes of 
human beings on the globe. 

"The growth of education — scientific education — had put 
an end to white slavery, but Negro slavery still flourished, 
chiefly because the Negro was of a different race blood from 
his masters. Oneness, in thought and blood, had grown to 
mean freedom and culture for the white man. But oneness 
in thought, without oneness in blood, still meant slavery and 
ignorance for the Negro. 

"It is not my purpose to discuss slavery, nor any of its 
blighting effects upon civilization, only where it, in my judg- 
ment, acts as a night of dark despair to our religious and 
educational advancement, and as a barrier to a happy solution 
of our life's problem, which we must grapple with today. 

"THE NEGRO IS A CITIZEN. 

"I wish to advance this hypothesis, and from it adduce what 
I have to say this evening on this phase of the subject, that 
the Negro is a citizen of the United States. 

"This statement cannot be controverted, nor will any man 
or woman, North or South, regardless of what his personal 
predilections may be with respect to the Negro, contend that 
the Negro is not a citizen of this Republic. If I should admit 
that the Negro is an inferior citizen compared with the other 
citizen, it does not, in my opinion, justify the conclusion that 
there should be a lower standard of education or a lower 
standard of moral ethics fixed for the Negro citizen than for 
the other citizen. 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 239 

"A race cannot be justly deprived of education, liberty and 
the pursuit of happiness merely because it is relatively inferior 
to another. If so, all other branches of the human family 
would justly be reduced to ignorance, peonage, and even 
slavery, by the highest, most masterful branch, and that 
mastery could only be established by brute force. 

"DUTIES OF THE SUPERIOR. 

"The obligation and duty of the superior to lead and direct 
does not carry with it the right to enforce ignorance, peonage, 
disfranchisement, immorality and slavery upon the inferior. 
It is upon this hypothesis that our social fabric is firmly 
planted, and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate 
success of the full recognition of this principle throughout the 
civilized and enlightened world, and especially in these United 
States. 

"MOVED BY PATRIOTISM. 

"No historian, perhaps, will ever assert that the men who 
bore the banner of the Confederacy, in victory and defeat, 
with such matchless courage and heroic sacrifices, were moved 
only by the selfish purpose of holding their black fellow men 
in bondage. They were doubtlessly inspired by the noblest 
sentiment of patriotism and of self -protection ; but if the 
teachings of certain people should become the practice, fixed 
and accepted sentiments of our beloved and beautiful country, 
people of the civilized world, regardless of what historians 
may write, would render a verdict that the sons of the Southern 
Confederacy were moved by no such lofty patriotism, but 
gave their talents and fortunes for the low and ignoble pur- 
poses of blighting and destroying the religious hopes and 
educational aspirations of the offsprings of a race held in 
bondage for more than two hundred years. 

"BOTH RACES MUST STAY IN THE SOUTH. 

"Now that it is conceded that the Negro is a citizen of the 
United States, and will remain in the South or go elsewhere, 
as it pleases him; and it is also clear, beyond doubt, that the 
white man is going to stay in this Southland for all time, so, 
if then both races are to remain together, the plain, sensible 



240 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

thing for statesmen of this day to do is to devise the best 
working plan by which the greatest good can be brought to all 
humanity and humanity's posterity. 

"We are often confronted with the theory of Bishop 
Turner, deportation, or of that school of theorists who advo- 
cate assimilation, or of the Rev. Dixon class, who preaches 
annihilation. 

"When we come to think seriously, all three of these so- 
called possibilities appear to be really impossibilities j not one 
of the theories presents a working hypothesis. 

"Over against that trinity of impossibilities, deportation, 
assimilation or annihilation, let me offer the simple plan of 
uplift and justice. 

"UPLIFT AND JUSTICE. 

"Let the superior adopt the policy of uplift by encour- 
aging and teaching the inferior the great lessons of our life's 
problems. Let the inferior be schooled in all of the many 
avocations of life and endeavor. Let the avenues of distinc- 
tion be opened to them. Let the superior demonstrate its 
superiority by the manner in which it applies justice to the 
inferior, and the great and vexed questions and conditions 
which confront us today will disappear like mist before the 
rising sun. 

"GOVERNMENT MUST BE BASED ON HUMAN 

RIGHTS. 

"No government, whether it be school, state or church, can 
long endure, based upon the crushed rights of the humblest 
of human beings. 

"Many governments have been founded upon the principle 
of subordination and serfdom of certain races, but such gov- 
ernments went down, and we only know of them as events of 
the dead and gone past. 

"Those whose stock in trade is preaching a doctrine of racial 
and religious hate may easily gain some temporary advantage 
for themselves in a state where the elective franchise is based 
upon color and a $1.75 poll tax, and manipulated through the 
primaries, where it requires no courage, either physical or 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 241 

moral, to strike (not even with a paper ballot) ; but these 
men will achieve nothing permanent for the good of the state 
or of the nation by stirring up race passion and prejudice to 
accomplish selfish ends. 

JUDGE THE RACE BY THE STANDARD WHICH 
IS APPLIED TO OTHER RACES. 

"One of the most serious difficulties about the solution of 
our religious, educational and life's problems is to be found in 
getting the dominant and governing people of the Union to 
draw a proper and just discrimination between the individual 
member of a race and the race as a whole. 

"The white race has many unworthy members among it. 
The Negro race has many unworthy members among it. The 
rule is to judge the white race by the educated, the learned, 
the virtuous, the upright and the just. 

"Why judge the Negro race by the vicious, the ignorant, 
the immoral and the criminal members of his race? 

"Apply the same educational tests; apply the same rules of 
law and government to the Negro race as it is applied to the 
white race, and open the avenues of endeavor, and tell him to 
let his thoughts fly out into the doom of thought, and question 
the stars for themselves; and if he should fail, and go down 
in everlasting disgrace, the white man can look his Maker in 
the face and say, 'His blood is not upon my hands.' 

PROCEED ALONG RIGHT LINES. 

"My friends, we do not know what shifting phases this 
vexing race educational and religious problem may assume, but 
we must rest in the conviction that its ultimate solution must 
be reached by proceeding along the lines of racial uplift, 
honesty and simple justice. Let us not in cowardice, my 
friends, or for want of courage, needlessly sacrifice the higher 
ideals of American private and public life to escape the charge 
of being called race imitators. 

"Different races may necessitate social distinctions, but race 
differences cannot repeal the moral law. 

MORAL LAW. 

"What is this thing we call the moral law? Is it a mere 



242 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

weak sentiment, suitable only for children and preachers and 
Sunday school teachers, or is it the fiat of Nature and Nature's 
God commanding obedience from all men, under the sanction 
of inevitable penalties. Let us waive questions as to weight 
of authority, and reason out the matter for ourselves. 

"When comes our moral or ethical conception? Briefly, 
let me summarize. 

"First, the theological school rests the foundation of morals 
on the divine commandments or revelations, which quicken the 
conscience. God spake through Moses, the prophets and the 
Christ. 

"Second, the psychological school traces the source of morals 
to an instinct or sense that is innate in the mind itself, the 
conscience. 

"The philosopher, the metaphysician, Emanuel Kant, rea- 
soned back to his celebrated postulate of a categorical 
imperative called duty. 

"Third, the utilitarian school evolves morals from human 
experience, sanctioning as good or right that conduct which has 
proven injurious to organized society, thus creating and 
developing the conscience by successive stages of experimental 
knowledge. 

"Herbert Spencer thus evolves his system of utilitarian 
ethics until it almost flowered into the duty of the Golden 
Rule. 

"Professor Huxley, discussing the scientific doctrine of 
causation, says the safety of morality lies in a real and living 
belief on that fixed order of nature which sends social dis- 
organization upon the track of immorality as surely as it sends 
physical disease after physical trespassers. 

"Now, my friends, it is not necessary for you or me to 
determine how much of truth there is in these schools of 
thought. Enough for us to know that all three reach sub- 
stantially the same conclusion as to the right of conduct for 
men. 

"By different routes they arrive at the same goal. In 
reasoning they are three ; in acting they are one; but here is 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 243 

a subject on which religion and science are in full accord, 
namely, that the moral law is the wisest and best rule of human 
conduct. 

STATES AND NATIONS SHOULD APPLY MORAL 

LAW. 

"Now, does the same moral law apply to the states and 
nations as it does to individuals? Or are there two codes 
of morality? One for individuals and another for aggrega- 
tions of individuals? Can you practice fraud as a collective 
body of citizens and still preserve your personal integrity as 
an individual citizen? Are there any moral rules which 
Wilson the President must observe that Wilson the citizen 
can ignore? 

"I might quote the opinions of many learned men as 
authority for the doctrine that moral duties are as obligatory 
upon states and nations as upon individuals. 

"But again I shall waive authority and reason out my own 
conclusion. I shall test the question by the standards of the 
three schools of thought named a while ago. 

"If we assume that the theological school is correct, it is 
manifest that there cannot be a code of public morals different 
in principles and application from the code of private morals. 
God must deal with individuals and nations alike, because the 
former are the responsible units to the latter. 

"If we assume the psychological school is correct, it is 
equally manifest that the conscience, being innate mental 
quality, cannot reverse its action by changing from private to 
public capacity, from individual to collective functions. 

"If we assume that the utilitarian school is correct, it ought 
to be equally as clear that the rule of conduct which experience 
has proven to be beneficial as between individuals is also 
beneficial as between states and nations under the like 
conditions. 

"It is said that one of the most noble tributes ever paid to 
Gladstone was that he applied the moral law to British politics. 

"Present-day statesmen might profit by this example, and 
thereby give a grand and splendid lift to the educational and 
religious advancement of black men in the Union. 



244 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"Men of real moral principles command the spontaneous 
homage of mankind. They are the mainstays of organized 
human society, and have always been the leaders of religious 
and educational thought. This is what we Texans regard as 
man's duty to man 5 and, believing that the great A. M. E. 
Church stands and contends for these ideals, we gladly and 
most cheerfully welcome the heads of this church to the great 
State of Texas. 

EARLY HISTORY OF AFRICAN METHODISM. 

"But, bishops and my Christian friends, it is not the ideals 
of Texas people upon which I wish to dwell. We wish to 
draw your attention to the early history of planting the A. M. 
E. Church on Texas soil. It is this in which we glory. When, 
where and by whom was the first A. M. E. Church established 
in Texas is, so far as I know, clad in doubt ; but this is quite 
certain Bishop Cain above all must be given credit of planting 
the A. M. E. Church firmly on the soil of Texas. 

"If we call the roll of those who were foremost in the 
ranks of African Methodist and led the mighty hosts forty 
years ago, you will find, Revs. A. Grant, J. F. Bradley, H. 
Willhight, Monroe Conner, R. S. Jenkins, J. H. Armstrong, 
J. E. Edwards, William Leak, B. W. Roberts, D. L. Coleman, 
S. D. Russell, C. A. Harris, W. R. Carson, E. E. Merkrell, 
J. Goins, Trapp and Jackson. These men must be put down 
as Christian heroes. They no doubt carry the scars to their 
graves of many a hard fought battle, and still their religious 
swords have never been stained with unholy cutting. 

"They met prejudice and superstition — the monster of their 
time. They fought! They won! And the results of those 
battles can be seen in Galveston, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, 
Dallas, Waco, Fort Worth. Brenham, and in every nook and 
corner of this great state. Everywhere in Texas African 
Methodist songs are sung. Thousands of little bright-eyed 
boys and girls meet in gorgeously-bedecked churches each 
Sunday in the year and give praise to Him who sent the Spirit 
to guide their great and heroic leaders into truth, and said, 
'Let little children come unto me.' 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 245 

"Having thought much upon this subject, as the matter 
appears to me after close observation and many conversations 
with those who fairly represent the people of African Meth- 
odist belief, that there is somewhere in their secret thoughts 
and aspirations a mighty undercurrent of sentiment that tends 
to bring them into race pride and affiliation in their religious 
development j and, because of this, all Texas welcomes you. 

"It is an instinct that does not recognize itself 5 that does 
not argue j that cannot express itself in words; but that 
moves straight on to its ends, steady, resistless, and in the end 
triumphant. And for this we welcome you. 

"He that gave the Stork' knowledge of 'His appointed time' 
in his flight through the heavens, has implanted this strong 
instinct of race pride in the breast of your leaders, and for the 
wisest and most beneficent of far-reaching and saving ends; 
and, because of this, we welcome you. 

"The A. M. E. Church is perhaps, on the whole, the most 
independent ecclesiastical organization among the Negroes in 
the world. That is to say, they depend upon self more. They 
take more pride in race enterprises, etc.; and for this we 
welcome you. 

"Its disbursements of money in the prosecution of your 
education and religious works is for the Negroes, with the 
Negroes, and by the Negroes. 

"No alien church society has a mortgage or a 'deed of trust' 
upon the A. M. E. Church. Its bishops, with those whom 
they may take in council, transact all the business that comes 
under the control of the church. To an old maxim, 'You live 
at home, and board at the same place' — on this account we, the 
citizens of Texas, welcome you. 

"Your membership in Texas is over 150,000 souls; your 
church property is valued at over $1,000,000, while your 
school and college property is estimated to be worth over 
$250,000 j and for this reason we welcome you to Texas. 

MORAL CONFLICT. 

"Bishops and Christian friends, it is not the religious glories 
of African Methodism on which I shall dwell. African 



246 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Methodism has become a household word among us, and will 
thrill the Negroes' heart in every quarter of the United States 
of America as long as a drop of Negro blood remains in 
America or the world. 

"It is the moral character of the conflict which I shall chiefly 
wish to illustrate, and it is that which I trust will secure the 
unanimous applause of every Christian. The African 
Methodists were assailed by numbers ; they met them by skill. 
They were assailed in some cases by rapine ; they encountered 
it by religious discipline. They were assailed by cruelty; they 
vanquished it by religious humanity. They were assailed by 
the powers of sin and wickedness ; they conquered them by 
the constancy of a religious virtue. 

"Some men, no doubt, will deny the reality of these moral 
qualities; but he must, not forget the contemporaneous testi- 
mony of those who have received their protection and 
experienced their hostility. 

In Texas it was the African Methodist Episcopal Church 
that drove I. S. Campbell, William Massey, W. W. Hay, A. 
R. Griggs, Z. T. Pardee and others, at the head of 170,000 
men, women and children (with shame, perhaps, if not dis- 
grace) out of the 'foot-washing doctrine, with all its unciviliz- 
ing practices. If the career of the A. M. E. Church was 
attended with failures at times, it was only because such a 
calamity is inseparable from the paths alike of a patriotic, 
heroic band of Christian workers as of the religious conqueror. 

"They wove the wealth of their church with their own good 
religious labor. The glory of a conquering religious band is 
nothing new. Other ages have been dazzled with the 
phantom of religious renown; other ages have been beneath 
the yoke of false doctrine and oppression of religious fallacies, 
and other ages have seen the energies of mankind wither 
before the march of victorious truth and power. It has been 
reserved for courage alone to witness — it has been the high 
prerogative for African Methodism alone to exhibit — a more 
animating spectacle, to behold religious power applied only 
to the purpose of beneficence; and for this reason we welcome 
you. 



WELCOME TO BISHOPS OF A. M. E. CHURCH 247 

"Victory made the means of a religious moral renovation. 
A religious conquest became the instrument of a national 
resurrection. 

"Before the march of your victorious powers the energies 
of the race have revived. Your triumphant voices have awak- 
ened a fallen race to noble duties, and recalled the 
remembrance of their pristine glory. Your banners, waving 
over the infant religious armies of an emancipated, renovated 
people, and the track of your religious chariot wheels, followed 
by the sight of condemned sinners and the blessings of a 
liberated Christian people, have been held high. You may 
say a liberated nation, for it was your firmness which first 
opposed the hither irresistible waves of false practices and 
doctrines of my church, the Baptist Church of Texas. It was 
their opposition which traced out the path of essential Baptism, 
and their victories which reanimated the all but extinguished 
spirit of Baptist resistance. It was from the pulpit of African 
Methodism that the doctrine of 'race pride' was preached and 
finally was permanently established in the hearts of Texas 
Negroes. And when the African Methodist army was 
marching in mournful silence around the burning capital of 
'sin and error,' and the midnight sky was illuminated by the 
light which protruded through the cathedral glass windows of 
richly finished churches, a breathless messenger brought the 
news of the fall of the doctrine of denominational bigotry 
and of all its kindred evils, and the revived multitude of 
Baptists beheld in the triumph of African Methodism an omen 
of their own deliverance and the rescue of our own creeds and 
doctrines from false teaching and teachers. 

"When the tide of educational interest had ebbed on the 
plains of Texas and the Negroes' education at the hands of the 
government was wrapped up in doubt, it was Methodism 
that aroused the Texas Legislature to make ample provision. 

"Vain would have been the subsequent triumphs of the 
Baptist Church, vain the eloquence of I. S. Campbell, A. R. 
Griggs, William Massey, and the other leading Baptists, if 
Methodism had not opposed the practices and heresies 
preached by the Baptist of that day. And for these mighty 



2+8 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

deeds of religious education, we welcome you, bishops and 
your religious co-workers, to Texas, and hope your stay in 
Texas shall be an everlasting inspiration to all the citizens of 
Texas, and that each moment you and your co-laborers spend 
in Texas shall be crowned in jewel joy." 

The above address is but one of the many delivered 
by William McDonald, the leading son of the common- 
wealth. In Texas, the National Baptist Convention 
is heard him; historical, industrial, educational, all 
have heard the eloquent words of this man welcoming 
them to the state of his choice. There is not a living 
man in the state today who has spoken to more people 
than the subject of this sketch. 

Those who hear him once are anxious to hear him 
::gain. The people of this great state have learned that 
his advice is wholesome. They have found him to be 
a real man; a true lover of humanity; a man whose 
long and varied experience places him in a splendid 
position to advise others. They have learned to love 
him and to respect his timely words. They can and do 
trust him. 

When an important question confronts the colored 
people of his native state, all are concerned as to what 
McDonald has to say on the issue. Realizing his worth 
to the race, citizens in all sections of the state have 
i equested him to represent them in the national gath- 
: :ings that come to the Lone Star State. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Chairman of the Board of Instructions. 1917. 

On April 6th, 1917, America declared war against 
Germany. More than 400,000 Negroes entered active 
military service. Of this number, Texas alone fur- 
nished 31,000 colored men. Only one other state in 
the Union furnished more men that the Lone Star State, 
and that was Georgia, from which state 34,000 colored 
men enlisted. 

After the declaration of war it was found necessary to 
appoint leading citizens on several boards to work under 
the direction of the President, who is commander-in- 
chief of all United States forces. 

One of the most important boards created by the act 
of May 18, 1917, was the Board of Instructions. The 
Board of Instructions for the Northern District of 
Texas, with headquarters at Fort Worth was rather 
unique in that the officers were colored. William Mc- 
Donald was chairman, W. O. Bundy, vice-chairman, 
and J. D. Martin, secretary. These same men held 
their respective offices both on board number one and 
board number four and were the only colored men in 
the state to be appointed to such office. 

The object of these boards was to address raw recruits. 
A better choice for chairman could not have been made 
than the selection of McDonald, a ready and fluent 
speaker, a man who had spoken all over Texas, to some 
of the largest audiences ever assembled in the state. 

249 



250 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

A man whose love for country is unsurpassed, and one 
who saw that it was a golden opportunity for his race 
to again show its loyalty and patriotism to our country 
and to assist in bringing peace to a confused world. 

In the state of Texas many thousands of young men 
were addressed before going to the cantonments in the 
Southwest. They needed advice and counsel, they 
needed to be told of their duties to the government and 
how they should uphold the grand old flag. 

Many of them, fresh from the rural districts, had 
never heard of the deeds of valor and bravery of mem- 
bers of their race in all of the struggles of this country. 
They did not know that the very first blood offered upon 
the altar of this country for its independence flowed 
from the veins of a Negro. They were unmindful of 
the fact that over 300,000 of their ancestors fought and 
many of them died to perpetuate our Union. They had 
not heard the song, "There Will Be a Hot Time in the 
Old Town Tonight," sung by the immortal Negro sol- 
diers under Colonel Roosevelt as they marched to undy- 
ing fame and glory up San Juan Hill. Neither did they 
know of the heroic deeds and bravery of the gallant men 
of color who fell at Carusal. Many of them had never 
seen the history of their country and had had no chance 
to read the scant record as given by most white historians 
concerning the achievements of colored men in all the 
wars of this Republic. 

They were strong physically, capable of doing a good 
day's work. They believed in God and had some faith 
in their country. But many of them were growing cold 
and indifferent and were asking the question, "Does my 
country love me? Will she protect me in all my con- 



CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF INSTRUCTIONS 25 1 

stitutional rights? Will she give me a square deal? We 
ask only a man's chance. Will we get it?" 

Many of them were cognizant of the treatment of 
many unfortunate and innocent colored men in the 
Southland and to some it seemed as if the Great Ruler 
of the universe had temporarily withdrawn all sense of 
fair play from many of our friends in this country. 
These men were still loyal even under adverse circum- 
stances and conditions. The true blood of their ancestors 
still circulated in the veins of these stalwart and anxious 
young men upon whose efforts, so soon, was to depend in 
a large measure the destiny of the human race. 

They were willing and ready but needed advice from 
more experienced men and women. The state and the 
national leaders in Texas knew that the best brains, the 
most patriotic and loyal men and women of the race 
should from time to time advise, encourage and teach 
these young men in all the lessons of loyalty to country, 
the importance of being patriotic, and encourage them 
to such an extent that they would gladly go forth and if 
necessary lay their lives upon the altar that the world 
might be made a democracy. 

In the Southwest the man who did most in encourag- 
ing these raw recruits was William McDonald. He 
went from place to place, giving fatherly advice, and 
with that gift of oratory and that persuasive eloquence, 
made each man see his full duty. 

Among many other things he especially advised the 
raw material on the verge of entering their country's 
service: patriotism, loyalty, courage, fidelity, faithful- 
ness in the discharge of every duty, and with all of his 
great power he warned that no man must fall with his 



252 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

back to the enemy. With scholarly ability, with force 
and clearness he recited the past achievements of colored 
men on the battlefields of America and expressed his 
supreme confidence in the part the Negroes would take 
and the results accomplished on the battlefields of 
France. 

It was my pleasure to hear McDonald address an 
audience of drafted men; more than five hundred were 
present. The orator and counselor and friend to man, 
the champion of his country's cause, was at his best. He 
took those young men from the fields and plantations of 
Texas to the bloody battlefields of France and told them 
of the vicissitudes of war. He told of what the sword 
had accomplished. He held high an American flag and 
explained the meaning of each color. He told what 
their country expected of them and how over ten mil- 
lions of their group would pray for them and follow 
their every action. So impressed were the young men 
that to a man they arose and declared that even in the 
face of death they would defend their country and that 
the dear old flag should never touch the ground. Such 
an effect did the orator's words have upon the recruits 
that they were ready and willing to go to war at once 
without the necessary preliminary training. 

Not only did McDonald advise and encourage men 
of color to enlist in their country's cause, but he bought 
many of the Liberty bonds and so enthusiastic was he 
that he gave space in his bank for the headquarters of 
the American Red Cross and helped in every way 
possible the cause of his country. 

Mr. McDonald is a firm believer in the Fatherhood 
of Qod and the Brotherhood of Man. He feels that all 



CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF INSTRUCTIONS 253 

men, regardless of the color of their skin, should be 
treated alike. He is not only interested in the people of 
Texas and the United States, but in all the people in all 
parts of the world. He thinks an injustice done a black 
man in Africa or Europe is as much a wrong as an in- 
justice done in this country. 

Very closely did he watch the proceedings of the 
World Peace Conference in 1919. In the World War 
white and black men had stood side by side and when 
rules for the governing of the nations of the earth were 
being formulated at the Peace Conference, McDonald 
was of the opinion that the question of color should not 
have entered the minds of big men. He took the posi- 
tion that there can be no real world-wide peace until all 
men, regardless of color, are treated upon the true prin- 
ciple of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood 
of man. Therefore he speaks out as follows: 

MEN CRY PEACE! THERE IS NO PEACE! 

"The World's Peace Conference has been in labor since the 
1 8th of last November, discussing 'ways and means' to put the 
world upon an everlasting peace basis and thereby bring uni- 
versal peace to 'all the nations and races of the earth.' 

"These have been the desires and wishes of civilized men for 
more than six thousand years. Regardless of these wishes and 
desires no 'ways and means' have been found to keep all the 
peoples at peace for a period longer than fifty years. Four or 
five years ago an incident happened in Southeast Europe which 
lighted a torch that set all of the Southern Hemisphere aflame 
and turned loose the dogs of war. Canada, our neighbor at the 
north of us, a country belonging to Great Britain, flew to arms. 
The United States felt herself obliged to decide with England, 
France and Russia, and declared war upon Germany and her 
allies in 1917. Germany vanquished Roumania, overrun Bel- 
gium, fought her way through France and came within twenty 



254 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

or thirty miles of Paris. Italy they put out of commission, 
and the English army was driven back and at one time almost 
destroyed. The United States sent over two million or more 
soldiers, white and black. These men were untrained in 
European warfare but were eager to meet the Huns. It was 
they who checked the advance of the Kaiser's legion on Paris, 
broke Hindenburg's lines and forced the Germans to beg for 
and sign a dictated armistice. 

"Immediately the allied nations convoked a peace council 
and this conference assembled in France. Meantime President 
Wilson had delivered several state papers setting forth the rea- 
son why the United States had entered the European war and 
what objects we must accomplish. These he set down in four- 
teen points, which the whole civilized world accepted as the 
highest ideals possible to be conceived of by the human mind. 
The American people felt that since their President had in 
these state papers committed them to such lofty ideals, aims 
and objects, that they would be worse than traitors if they and 
all human beings did not back him, regardless of the sacrifices 
in blood and money. 

"President Wilson smashed all precedents when he sailed 
to the Peace Council. The eyes of the world were upon him. 
The United States and the teeming millions of war-wrecked 
as well as struggling and oppressed peoples of every clime 
wished our President success and God speed, and expected him 
to force autocracy with its shameless forms of government to 
give way before justice, freedom, righteousness and democracy. 
All these long and anxious months we have waited for Pres- 
ident Wilson's decision, for the council's decision, for the an- 
nouncement that 'right makes might.' 

"The consummate judgment of this council was given in 
concrete or documentary form to the patient millions of all 
nations and races scattered over the earth, who have with hope 
and doubt stood with aching hearts, bowed heads, and in speech- 
less silence awaiting the fulfillment of President Wilson's 
pledges. Instead of the announcement that 'right makes 
might,' we are told that 'might makes right' and the people of 



CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF INSTRUCTIONS 255 

the old globe must continue to toil and groan under the hand 
of oppression. 

"We have read the decision handed down by this mighty 
council and which will be up very soon to the different govern- 
ments of the earth to approve. Will the people of the United 
States approve this League of Nations peace treaty, is the 
question? If they do not approve of the 'ways and means' 
offered in this pact to bring peace on earth, how will it effect 
the people on the earth? Or in what way will the people of the 
United States secure peace, separate peace with Germany and 
other nations with whom we are at war? The question must be 
answered by the people of the United States. What will 
they do? 

"More than two thousand years ago Christ walked the earth 
and was hailed as the foremost advocate of the Kimeriar, 'Peace 
on earth, good will toward all men.' He was crucified for 
preaching this abstraction. Our President is regarded as the 
foremost advocate of this abstraction today. This abstraction 
or Kimeria has cost the people of the United States thirty or 
forty billions in money and over five, hundred thousand in 
lives. The people of the earth are not nearer to universal 
peace today than they were in August, 1914. 'Peace on earth 
and good will toward all men' can only exist in the mind of 
men. They cannot put it into practice. We wish they could, 
and would. What have the people of the United States accom- 
plished and how much better are the nations and races of the 
earth by reason of the fact that so much life and treasure have 
been sacrificed depends solely upon the viewpoint of the per- 
sons giving the opinion. We do not begrudge England, 
France, Italy or Japan one single foot of ground which their 
imperialistic appetites and greed have wrenched from Ger- 
many, but from our veiwpoint we seriously object that the 
people of the United States shall in effect reduce themselves to 
the attitude or condition of a British Foreign Colony standing 
ready to back England in all of her schemes of international 
intrigues for universal domination of all the people of the 
earth, including ourselves. 

"In the days past the people of the United States made 



256 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

much ado about the freedom of Ireland, the freedom of the 
seas, and resoluted strong against siege and search on the 
high seas. Have the people and government of the United 
States recently found that the Irishmen are incapable of self- 
government and are not entitled to freedom and the pursuit 
of happiness? Have they found that the doctrine of the free- 
dom of the seas was a myth and that the seizure and search 
of our ships at sea was in strict accord with the Golden Rule? 

"When President Wilson sailed for Europe last December, 
his word and the ideals which he had committed the people of 
the United States to stand out against the whole world, and he 
was regarded as the foremost diplomat and statesman of the 
the civilized globe. The American people were proud of their 
President. We idolized him. We glorified in the high ideals 
he had proclaimed and we were certain that his preachments 
would be crystalized into something tangible, concrete and 
lasting. However, the only visible thing accomplished at the 
Peace Conference was to force the Peace Council to ignore the 
equality of the Japanese, or in orther words, to force the coun- 
cil to ignore and set hard upon the Christian doctrine of the 
Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. 

"Men may cry 'Peace! Peace!' There is no peace!" 




B. F. White 
A Leading Banker — Friend 



CHAPTER XVII. 

A Real Texan. Defends the Poor. 

For a number of years many invitations have come to 
Mr. McDonald to leave his native state and settle in 
other parts. Societies, clubs and all manner of organ- 
izations have invited him among them to deliver an 
address on some important subject and, at the conclusion 
of his addresses have attempted to show him the special 
advantages in living among them. Many of the cities 
in New England, some of those in the central part of 
the country, some in the Northwest, and many in the 
East have invited him to come and live with them. He 
has refused them all. 

He has pitched his tent in the Southwest and he says 
that he expects to live in the section in which he first saw 
the light of day. In discussing many things pertaining 
to the success of the race before one of the largest 
audiences that ever met in the City of Fort Worth, he 
concluded with the following statement: 

"I have said the above in order to say this, that: I am a 
native Texan j was born in Kaufman County, and I yield to 
no man in love, loyalty and devotion to the best interests of all 
the people of Texas. There are constitutional laws and legis- 
lative statutes or enactments in Texas which I think are funda- 
mentally wrong and inhibit the progress of the state, but these 
laws were passed by a large majority of the legal and qualified 
electors of the state and must be obeyed and respected by all 
men, black and white. 

"It is a dirty bird that befouls his own nest. He is an un- 
worthy citizen who slanders and decrys his native state. I live 

257 



258 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

in Texas from choice. All I have is here. My accumulation 
of a lifetime is here. My mother, father, sisters and my only 
son, to say nothing of my friends, white and black, sleep be- 
neath the soil of Texas, in their windowless palaces of rest. 
Therefore no racial hate, no mob violence, no unrest, no mental 
state of mind can drive me from my native state. I shall stay 
here and obey all the laws and respect the customs and tradi- 
tions of my state and protect myself as best I may against all 
violence, and shall be buried here in Texas. I do not know 
what black and white men think about it, but I am firm in 
the opinion that no man should let race hate, selfish parasites, 
agitators, black or white, who live, feed, fatten and thrive by 
playing on the cupidity of the gullible ignorant, destroy, wreck 
and ruin the hopes, aspirations, aims and objects of life; which 
are peace, contentment, happiness and the enjoyment of the 
fruits of your labor. Mankind possesses few rights and less 
privileges. I have a right to life, a right to work or labor and 
a right to enjoy the fruits of my labor. No normal man will 
deny me these rights, regardless of his racial hate. All priv- 
ileges are based upon conditions and contending for privileges 
not warranted by conditions is sheer folly. The same is true 
of the social equality proposition. No man is the social equal 
of another because he thinks himself so. He must demon- 
strate that he is the social equal by his observance of moral 
and civil laws. These are my sincere views and I hope that 
they shall commend themselves to my fellow countrymen. 

"Wm. M. McDonald." 

Mr. McDonald loves his native state. He loves his 
country. But in Texas most of his friends live. His 
accumulation of years is in the Lone Star State. He is 
highly respected by all who know him, both white and 
colored. He has the supreme confidence of his fellow- 
men. The larger part of his life has been spent in his 
native state. He has but a few more years to tread the 
soil of Texas. If by reason of Divine Providence he 
should live beyond the century mark, he hopes to spend 



A REAL TEXAN— DEFENDS THE POOR 259 

that time in Texas, where the winters are not so severe 
and the grass grows most of the year, and the birds sing 
their sweetest notes. 

Mr. McDonald has traveled extensively over the 
United States. He has also visited many points of inter- 
est in Mexico. But he has found no place that is as dear 
to his heart as his dear old Texas. He has never lived 
outside of the borders of Texas and has expressed the 
desire that when he joins the great host gone on before 
that his remains rest in his native state. 

He is a great champion of the poor man's cause as you 
will observe from the following: 

THE EDUCATIONAL AMENDMENT TO THE 

TEXAS CONSTITUTION. HOW WILL IT 

BENEFIT THE POOR? 

"In all ages of the world mankind has felt the necessity of 
some form of government. All the people living in a certain 
country may be classed as this or that nation and the rules which 
are adopted by their consent are called constitutions and laws 
of government. 

"North America is composed of several states and terri- 
tories. The people living in these states and territories have 
adopted certain rules and limitations to which they call FED- 
ERAL CONSTITUTION. 

"The enforcement or execution of the rules laid down in 
the Federal Constitution is called National Government. The 
Federal Union is subdivided into states and territories and the 
people living in a state adopt certain rules and limitations which 
must not conflict with the rules and limitations first adopted by 
all of the states and called the Federal Constitution and the 
rules and limitations thus adopted by a state are called a State 
Constitution. The execution or the enforcement of these rules 
adopted by a state is called State Government. Government 
therefore has existed in all of the ages of the world, deriving 
its power from the consent of a majority of those governed. 



260 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"It is fair to presume that all rules, laws or limitations 
adopted by either the state or the United States are aimed and 
intended to benefit a majority of the people or else a majority 
of the people would refuse and fail to adopt such rules or laws, 
since no rule or law can be enacted without their consent. In 
these states of ours a majority of those to be governed are poor 
men and a minority rich men. If therefore, the laws and rules 
are all in favor of the few against the many, the fault must 
be with the majority and not with the minority. The minority 
has rights which the majority are bound in all humanity to 
respect, but the minority can have special privilege which the 
majority wishes to deny. 

"Coming more closely to the subject matter of this article, 
I wish to state that most constitutional amendments are ostens- 
ibly proposed and put forward as being in the interest of a 
majority of the people but in fact and reality they only serve 
as special privileges and benefits to a SPECIAL FEW when 
enacted or adopted. We have had several amendments offered 
and adopted to the Texas Constitution in the last decade and 
each amendment that has been adopted since 1875, with pos- 
sibly two exceptions, was brought forward to serve special 
interests and a minority of the people have been the sole 
beneficiaries by reason of the adoption. 

"The promoters and advocates of amendments to the Con- 
stitution use the most adroit and subtle arguments that can be 
conceived by the human mind. The amendment from their 
viewpoint 'if adopted by a majority of the people,' will bring 
untold blessings to nation and state, especially our women and 
our dear neglected children. A majority of the people being 
moved by the sentiment thus created, rack up to the polls and 
cast their ballot to adopt the amendment, it is adopted and the 
practical operation of the amendment is put into effect. The 
results are, we awake too late to find that we have voted more 
special valuable privileges away to the few. Should we lay the 
blame at the door of the few rich men or should we blame the 
majority of poor men? 

"To illustrate we will take for example the amendment to 
the Constitution authorizing the collection of Poll Tax. The 



A REAL TEXAN— DEFENDS THE POOR 261 

advocates of this amendment in the usual way pointed out the 
blessings that would come to the nation, to the state, and last 
the greatest blessing would be obtained in the way of educa- 
tional advantages to the dear, neglected children. The advo- 
cates of these amendments always picture the CHILDREN 
and the WOMEN as a distinct quantity or class separate and 
far removed from the voters, either in affinity or consanguinity, 
and nothing can reach them and serve their interests but the 
adoption of the proposed amendment. The poll tax amend- 
ment was adopted. The result is thousands of men awoke just 
a little too late to find that they had gone to the polls and 
deliberately voted to disfranchise themselves, thereby making 
a law in the interest of the few against the trailing many." 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Our Foremost Orator. 

If oratory is the art of speaking with fluency, ele- 
gance, force and persuasiveness; no man of any age, 
as far as I have been able to learn, in any country or 
nation, measures more fully up to the requirements of 
a great speaker than William Madison McDonald. 
Numbers of men have had better opportunities to display 
their powers as orators and are rated as the greatest public 
speakers of their day and nation. Conditions, circum- 
stances, the occasion, the subject matter in hand, the 
native ability of the speaker, a thorough knowledge of 
human nature, these things have placed some men in the 
front rank as great orators. 

In oratory the genius of Demosthenes had no equal. 
He won his fame because of his nerve in opposing Philip 
of Macedonia. Demosthenes was at home, in his native 
city, Athens. Philip posed as a religious champion of 
the Greeks, thus giving Demosthenes a splendid oppor- 
tunity to oppose the tyrant. Perhaps Aeschines, the 
famous opponent of Demosthenes, or Pericles, or 
Isocrates could have done equally as well, had either the 
nerve to defy the haughty Philip. The disreputable or 
anarchistic Catiline, whose conspiracies at one time 
threatened to overturn the Roman government, afforded 
a splendid opportunity to Marcus Tullius Cicero to win 
the distinction of being the foremost orator of Rome. 

Edmund Burke, one of the greatest orators England 

263 



264 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

ever produced, won his fame largely because he spoke 
in uncompromising terms in behalf of the oppressed col- 
onist. He was absolutely right in his defense of the 
people of North America. 

Daniel Webster, ranked as our foremost orator, pos- 
sessed a thorough literary training. He lived at a time 
when people were anxious to hear men speak, especially 
those who were ready to defend the Constitution of the 
United States. As a member of the Senate, Webster won 
his fame in defense of the Union. It is true that he was 
prepared, but the time, place and circumstances had 
much to do with enabling him to become the greatest 
orator America ever produced. 

Our own immortal Douglass lived at a time when it 
was not so hard to persuade men to think as he did. Born 
a slave in Maryland and having lived a slave for a num- 
ber of years in his native state, Fred Douglass was well 
qualified by experience to relate the reasons he wished 
his unfortunate black brothers to enjoy the freedom he 
was enjoying after his escape from his master. For more 
than two hundred years the sisters and brothers of Doug- 
lass had suffered untold hardships in a strange country; 
he had seen them suffer, bleed and die under the iniquit- 
ous institution sanctioned in many places by the so-called 
church of God, and upheld by the laws of many of the 
states. His heart yearned to deliver his message to an 
unconcerned world. The time came. Men and women 
were anxious to hear his story. As an orator and debater 
Fred Douglass stands as one of the greatest public 
speakers this country ever produced. The conditions 
under which he lived, the case he pleaded before the bar 
of public justice, the cause he so nobly represented, all 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 265 

had much to do with making him the great orator that 
he was. 

No man since the days of Fred Douglass and Booker 
T. Washington has been more on the lips and in the 
hearts of Negro men and women than McDonald. In- 
deed, had it been in the power of his people, I am 
tempted to say that no gift, even the high and exalted 
position as President of the United States, would 
have been his. 

Like the above leaders, he is a race man through 
and through. Blessed with great financial success and 
owning much of this world's goods, Mr. McDonald has 
been a great benefactor to his race. He has donated 
liberally to churches, schools, and even to needy indi- 
viduals. He has also given his time and means to carry- 
ing out the principles of the Republican party. 

As an orator he possesses the ardor and fire of Henry 
Clay, the subtlety of Calhoun and the massive grandeur 
of Daniel Webster, the eloquence of Fred Douglass, and 
the persuasiveness of Robert Ingersoll. 

As a public speaker McDonald has been in great de- 
mand. When a great gathering is to meet in the City 
of Fort Worth or in any of the larger cities of Texas, he 
is always called on to deliver the welcome address in 
behalf of the citizens. His speeches on these occasions 
have been considered masterpieces. As a profound 
thinker, a logical reasoner, a close student of human na- 
ture, well versed in the history of his country and race, 
he has been able to bring to his large audiences much 
food for thought. 

In 1893 the great Baptist National Convention met 



266 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

in the City of Fort Worth. The leading Baptists from 
all parts of the United States were present. Mr. Mc- 
Donald was called upon to welcome the Messengers in 
behalf of the citizens of the city, especially the colored 
citizens. On the program that night were several of the 
leading speakers of Texas; among whom was the mayor 
of Fort Worth. Mayor E. R. Cockrell delivered a very 
scholarly and timely address of welcome to the Mes- 
sengers from all sections of the United States. His 
message was full of hope and encouragement to the 
thousands of colored people gathered in St. James Baptist 
Church. Our country would indeed be blessed if more 
such men as Mr. Cockrell were at the head of city and 
local affairs. 

At the close of the mayor's address, Mr. McDonald 
was introduced. The stage was well set for a great 
speech. More than five thousand colored men and 
women sat anxiously waiting as if their all depended 
upon the efforts of the noted colored orator. One of the 
foremost speakers of the white race had preceded the 
colored gentleman. I am sure that there were many in 
that audience ready to make comparisons. Mr. Mc- 
Donald was not speaking five minutes before the large 
audience was almost breathless. He made his hearers 
laugh and cry; he swept all before him with his match- 
less oratory and sound logic. 

The address follows. Both white and colored should 
read it over and over and I am sure will profit if they 
can but carry out his advice. Thousands of copies were 
printed and distributed over the country. But you 
should have heard the speech delivered by the orator to 
have the proper conception of the import. Like many 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 267 

of the great orators of the past, Mr. McDonald makes a 
better impression as a speaker than a writer. Hear his 
speech as it comes from printed pages. Read it to your 
boys and girls. Let it go down through the ages, for it is 
for all times. 

"My Christian friends, ladies and gentlemen: For some 
reason, I know not what, Dr. J. H. Winn and his associates 
selected me to welcome this host of Baptists on behalf of our 
citizens to Fort Worth. It is needless for me to say one and 
all of you are welcome. 

"It is not the hospitality of our citizenship that for the 
moment, I wish to draw attention to and dwell upon, but the 
more serious phases of our life's problem. The serious thinker 
will perhaps agree with me that this is not a time of specula- 
tion but of action. 

"Knowledge is spreading from nation to nation, from race 
to race, and from man to man, bringing all within the sphere 
of its operation. Its immediate tendency is to reduce the 
artificial distinction which time and power have created and to 
establish a common standard of virtue, Christian ethics and 
intelligence. By this standard, black and white, prince and 
people must be judged. We know that you can not be idle 
spectators of these efforts or unmindful of their effects. 

"We as American black men are connected with American 
white men and with other nations by ties of intercourse not 
easily severed •> and we American black men are ourselves 
deeply interested in the operation of those causes which can 
ameliorate the condition of mankind either in their religious, 
social, political or moral relations , which can add stability to 
American institutions, prosperity to our country and content- 
ment to all American citizens. We need no long or learned 
lecture about the nature of government and the influence of 
property or ranks of society. We should content ourselves 
with studying the true character of the American black man 
and with knowing that their interests are confided to a race 
leadership capable of doing and suffering all things for their 
God-given rights and liberties. Such a race, if its leaders be 



268 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

faithful, must be invincible. It has always been a favorite idea 
with me that no united race that resolves to be free can be 
conquered. Are we so humbled, so low, so debased, that we 
dare not express our sympathy for suffering American black 
men; that we dare not articulate our detestation of the brutal 
excesses of which they have been the bleeding victims, lest we 
might offend some one or more of our all powerful oppressors? 
Are we so mean, so base, so despicable that we may not attempt 
to express our horror; to utter our indignation, at the most 
brutal and atrocious system of near peonage, organized propa- 
ganda, prejudice and hate that ever stained earth or shocked 
high heavens? Or at the ferocious deeds of those charged with 
police powers stimulated and urged on by an education which 
is instilled in the hearts and minds of American youths, backed 
and supported by a fanatical and inimical religion, rioting in 
all the excesses of blood and butchery at the mere details of 
which the heart sickens and recoils ! 

"If the American pulpit, supported and maintained by the 
moral forces of the civilized world of Christendom, can look 
on calmly and coolly while all this is perpetrated on a Chris- 
tian black race, in its own immediate vicinity, in its very pres- 
ence, let us at least evince that one of its remote extremities 
is susceptible of sensibilities to Christian wrongs and capable 
of sympathy for Christian sufferings; that here in Texas a 
remote quarter of this supposed Free Republic, there are hearts 
not yet closed against compassion for human woes, that will 
pour out their indignant feelings at the oppression of a race 
whose only offense lies in the fact that its color is black. 

"A little more than fifty years ago, your and my fathers 
were emancipated; the electoral franchise was conferred upon 
them and they were made citizens of the United States. No 
civilized nation, no people of the most refined character could 
have displayed, after gaining a sudden and signal victory, more 
forbearance, more delicacy in the enjoyment of their triumph, 
than these poor untutored people did upon the great consum- 
mation of their freedom. 

"All was joy, congratulation and hope. Everywhere were 
to be seen groups of these harmless American black men 



OU RFOREMOST ORATOR 269 

assembled in this or that church to talk over their good for- 
tunes, to communicate their mental feelings of happiness; to 
speculate on their future prospects. Feeling their fetters 
loosened, they looked forward to the day which would see 
them fall off and the degrading marks which they left be 
effaced from them and their posterity. We wish this peace 
and tranquility could have continued even to the present day. 
But this abominable system of evil teaching of the American 
white man and the American black man had to be reckoned 
with. 

"This teaching is not confined to different races, contrasted 
hues, and strange features, but prevails also between white 
man and white man, black man and black man; for I never 
yet knew anyone to hate me, but those whom I had served and 
those who had done me some grevious injustice, or a greater 
wrong. The teaching of white men, is to be fond of power, 
jealous of any interference with its exercise, uneasy at its being 
questioned, offended at its being regulated or constrained; to 
be averse, above all, to have it wrested from their hands, especi- 
ally after it had been long enjoyed. This teaching is just 
fearful and without a parallel in the history of nations. The 
worst part of the so-called Christian man's teaching is that 
when he abuses power, he is taught to cling to it with a yet 
more convulsive grasp. Prone to hate whom he has injured 
without cause, he follows the law of human weakness, which 
makes the oppressor hate his victim, makes him who has 
injured never forgive, fills the wrongdoer with vengeance 
against those whose rights and privileges he has proscribed by 
force of numbers and the caste of color. 

"I do not know what you all think about it, but I believe, 
there is a cruel prejudice which prompts men to despise whom- 
soever has been regarded their inferior long after they become 
their equal. 

"The real inequality which is produced by fortune or by law 
is always succeeded by an imaginary inequality which is im- 
planted in the customs and manners of the people. The policy 
of the States is to foster dual systems of religion and education; 
one for American white men and one for American black men. 



270 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

This system maintains two standards of morals and efficiency 
for preachers and teachers 5 two standards of salary schedules 
and two standards of church and schoolhouse equipments, 
fixtures, courses of study, etc. On the steam and electric cars, 
in waiting or sitting rooms, wooden placards point in solemn 
admonition to the fact of the dual system of our government, 
which public sentiment, religion and education foster in this 
country. In the churches or theatres, gold cannot procure a 
seat for the American black man, by the side of the American 
white man. In the state or county hospitals and jails, we lie 
apart 5 and although we invoke the same divinity as the Amer- 
ican white man it must be at a different altar and in our own 
church with our own clergy. 

"In fine, we can have no part in the American white man's 
fraternal, educational, medical, political, religious, industrial, 
commercial, economical and civic worlds. Now, my fellow- 
countrymen and Christian friends, if you wish to move and 
shine in these worlds, you will have to build them for your- 
selves and for your posterity. These may be harsh facts, un- 
pleasant facts, but they are fact just the same. The sooner 
you recognize them and shape all of your actions to these con- 
ditions, the sooner will you build on a more solid and lasting 
foundation to the glory and edification of American black 
men, their God and State. 

"My countrymen and Christian friends, these are just a 
few of the stubborn surface conditions which confront you and 
me today. How shall they be met is the burning question. 
The moving spirits of this Baptist Convention fixed today — 
September 5th — to be the most propitious time to call the 
most able, the most patriotic and learned men of the race, that 
fifty years' freedom has produced, together for the purpose 
of taking counsel, one with the other ; frankly acknowledging 
our small beginning (just fifty years ago)j reviewing our 
advancement, under the most trying circumstances 5 and finally 
admitting the cruel and inhuman conditions which confront us 
as men and as a race today and try to find the best way of 
escape from our awful plight. 

"Let us take the lamp of the past to guide our footsteps in 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 271 

the future and let us point out to our compeers and lesser in- 
formed countrymen, a newer, better and higher road, which in 
our opinion, if followed for the next fifty years will lead to 
race independency, race contentment, race happiness, race unity 
and good will toward all the rest of mankind. 

"My mind runs back to 1636, a great year in America. It 
is the year Roger Williams founded a colony in Rhode Island 
on the basis of religious freedom. He is the father of the 
American Baptist and the first great preacher from my view- 
point in the United States. All patriotic Americans delight to 
honor him and wherever the fire of Baptist patriotism burns 
the name of Roger Wliliams is almost deified. 

"May not that inspired Baptist patriotism which moved him 
to go forth and battle for the religious freedom of American 
white men back yonder in 1636, inspire and move my fellow- 
countrymen and Christian soldiers, to go forth and battle for 
those things which are the rights of free men and which must 
be transmitted as a priceless heritage to the children of Amer- 
ican black men? 

"AH the problems of life are intellectual questions. The 
hard and vexed problems which we must contend with and 
against, find their base in the teaching of the people, both black 
and white. Teaching in a short time becomes what we call 
conscience and conscience controls the normal actions of men 
and women. It is said that the American white man wishes 
us to believe that all his hate, prejudice, malice, jealousy, envy, 
proscription and tomfoolery aimed at the black man are 
natural and is the result of heredity. It is not natural for a 
human being to hate; neither do they inherit such propensities. 
They acquire them from education and teaching. No man, 
white or black, inherits hate, prejudice, malice, jealousy or 
envy. These come only after a severe and rigid schooling, 
after a long growth into the customs, traditions, manners and 
habits of a people. Therefore, it is obvious that the American 
mothers, school teachers, clergymen, the press and so-called 
statesmen are responsible for the frightful state of conditions 
which encompass us today as Christian citizens of this wonder- 
ful country or republic. We are taught to venerate, admire, 



272 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

develop, cultivate and preserve all kinds of colors except the 
human black, brown or yellow kind. Our education and re- 
ligion coupled with traditions, customs, rules of action and 
habits, cause us to raise the cruel and heartless barriers between 
white men and black men in all the walks of life. From these 
causes we get the effects which weight us down and impede our 
progress. Your and my burden is to remove the cause of this 
evil teaching and when the cause is removed, the effects which 
we complain of will pass away like a thin mist before the 
rising sun. Now, if you and I were asked to blaze or point 
the way whereby this happy result could be accomplished, we 
should boldly suggest: 

"First. That we appeal to and conjure the American white 
mother, the American white school teacher, the American white 
clergyman, the American press, and last but not least, the 
American judges, legislators and statesmen to cease to teach or 
allow to be taught in our system of industrial development, re- 
ligion, or education, racial hate or prejudice based upon color. 

"We should beg them to wipe away and destroy the two 
standards of morals, the two standards of efficiency, the two 
standards of crimes, the two systems of government, one for 
Negroes and one for whites, all of which are fostered and sup- 
ported by present religious and educational teachings of Amer- 
ican white and black men. We should get them to demand 
the same high moral character and efficiency of black preachers 
and teachers as they demand of white preachers and teachers 
and pay them absolutely the same scale of wages or salaries. 

"Second. In the industrial world, we should appeal to all 
employers of labor of whatever description to cease to employ 
men by reason of race or color, but employ men solely upon 
their ability to do or perform the labor required and the profits 
they can return to the employer by reason of that labor. 

"Third. In regards to crime and the violation of the rules 
of society, we should ask and insist that the courts, judges and 
jurors apply the same penalties to black rapists, thieves, mur- 
derers, fornicators, harlots, crap-shooters and wife-beaters as 
are applied to white men who commit such crimes and let each 
individual bear the consequences of his crime. 




Lawyer A. S. Wells 
Grand Attorney K. O. P. — Early Assisted by McDonald 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 273 

"Fourth. With respect to government, we should ask that 
no class or race legislation be passed and in the administration 
of government or the application of government protection, 
justice and mercy be extended to the black man in the same 
identical way and manner that it is extended to the white man. 
This program does not involve what is commonly accepted as 
social equality and will not admit of such an interpretation. 
My good friends, I have here mapped out a big task for each 
member of this great Baptist organization and apparently, it 
is almost impossible of accomplsihment, but I am firm in the 
opinion that if the black men everywhere set for themselves 
this task, they will in the next fifty years attain this end and 
triumph, covered in glory because of their successful appeal ta 
the humanity, reason and intelligence of the American white 
men and women. 

"Now, my fellow-countrymen and Christian friends, we 
cannot accomplish the ends desired by mere asking and appeal- 
ing to American v/hite men and women. There is much for 
us to do. We must act, get busy and do a lot of pruning and 
lopping off in our own homes and among our own racial 
society. 

"First. In our own religious fields, we must set a higher 
standard of morals, culture and refinement. We must demand 
that bishops, clergymen and high court laymen be men of a 
pious, dignified mien, sober, patriotic, race loving y the husband 
of one wife, honest and absolutely uncorruptable. They will 
have to teach the members of their flock for the next fifty 
years that God will and does require them to leave an inher- 
itance for their posterity and the only way to do that is to buy 
and possess the land. I mean get homes and become a fixture 
to the soil. This kind of preacher will know that the more 
and better homes his members have the bigger and better 
churches they will be able to build and the better salary they 
will be inclined to pay him for his spiritual services. 

"This kind of minister will know that his race must not be 
encouraged to multiply discord, envy and jealousy but that 
they must learn to co-operate and help open avenues of em- 
ployment for the boys, girls, men and women of the race, who 



274 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

must make up the congregation which pays his salary and 
builds his church. 

"Second. In our educational world, the next fifty years 
of our freedom will demand patriotic teachers, teachers of the 
highest moral conception; teachers of the best efficiency and 
teachers who have the courage of their conviction, knowing 
what to teach and how to teach and far removed from the 
bread and butter type or class who possess our schools today. 
This class of teacher will know that he and the preacher must 
stand hand in hand and impart and impress the same lesson of 
thrift, industry, home getting and racial co-operation to the 
end that those young shoots which he trained to ideas and ideals 
may find employement commensurate with the teachings he 
himself instilled and implanted upon their minds and hearts 
before they quit his school room. He, too, will teach by 
example and not hold himself off as a separate, uninterested 
member of society pointing a finger of scorn, contempt and 
ridicule at the small efforts of his race. 

"Third. In our medical world, in the next fifty years of 
our freedom, the race will need doctors who are able, 
learned and skilled in the science of medicine and who have 
a burning desire to cure and lessen this awful high death rate 
which is sweeping yearly thousands of the race, both young 
and old to untimely graves. This doctor will be above crim- 
inal practice and will preserve rather than destroy life. 

"Fourth. In our business world, in the next fifty years 
of our race's progress, the black men who wish to or engage 
in business, we shall demand of them to have enough sense 
to know that this is an age of combination and co-operation j 
that instead of fifty men getting $200.00 each and opening 
for themselves a little store, paying fifty dif fferent little store 
rents, that it is best for the fifty men to combine their wealth 
and open one store with a capital of $10,000,-00 or $25,000.00, 
or better still, $50,000.00, thereby enabling them to supply 
the trade of the race, employing the race and making a big 
profit from the investment. 

"My countrymen and Christian friends, you are engaged in 
a noble and most praiseworthy work. You are heroes and 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 27S 

heroines, nobly contending that the principles or tenets taught 
by that wonderful philosopher — the Christ, be allowed to 
cover the world, not by the method of brute force but by 
human reasoning and intelligence. 

"My countrymen and Christian soliders, while standing here 
before you and letting my mind run back into the past, the 
acts of brute force giants come before me. We see them one 
and all in their universal sweep to power, fame and conquest, 
crush the weak, destroy empire, state and church; trampling 
beneath their brutal feet human rights and human liberties 
and leaving death, devastation, disease and crime in their paths. 
It is said of Napoleon that at his touch crowns crumbled, 
beggars reigned, systems vanished, and that the wildest theories 
took the color of his whim, and whether amid Alpine rocks 
or Polar snows, he seemed proof against peril and endowed 
with ubiquity. 

"The worshippers of brute force have erected a great tomb 
to his memory, of gilt and gold, fit almost to mark the resting 
place of the Christ. We can now see him walking upon the 
banks of the Siene, contemplating suicide. We see him putting 
down the mob in the streets of Paris. We see him cross the 
the bridge of Lodi with the tricolors in his hand and mingle 
the Eagles of France with the Eagles of the crag. We see 
him in Egypt under the shadows of the pyramids, admonishing 
his soldiers that forty centuries looked down upon them. We 
see him at Tulon, at Merengo and in Russia, where the in- 
fantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast shattered 
his legions like winter's withered leaves. We see him at 
Leipsig in disaster and defeat, driven by a million bayonets 
back on France, clutched like a wild beast and banished to Elba. 
We see him escape and by the force of his genius retake an 
empire. We then see him on the frightful fields of Waterloo, 
where chance and fate combine to wreck the fortune of their 
former king. 

"We see him at St. Helena with his hands crossed behind him 
gazing out on the sad and solemn sea. Now, my countrymen 
and Christian soldiers, let us think for a moment of the 
windows and orphans he made, of the tears he had shed for 



276 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

his glory. Let us think of Josephine, the only woman that 
ever loved him, pushed from his heart by the cold hand of 
ambition, and as you so think, had you not rather be Dr. E. P. 
Jones, the President of this convention, or Doctors Woods, 
Over, Prince, Hurst, Clark, Campbell and their associates 
fighting the religious, educational and industrial battles of 
fifteen millions of their countrymen and their unborn posterity, 
than to have been Napoleon, the personification of torture, 
murder and plunder? 

"To perfect a great Christian organization in these states 
which shall attempt to arouse our people everywhere to the 
great need of race combinations, race co-operations, race unity, 
race independency, race culture and the nobility of honest labor 
are the objects and purposes of the citizens of Fort Worth. 
Believing that each of you are moved by the same lofty senti- 
ments, we run out to greet you and welcome you to our city 
and state. 

"It is wonderful to have you come among us and inspire us 
in this noble and praiseworthy work. On your mission of 
human uplift, we welcome you here and wish you God speed." 

I am sure you will pardon me if I call your attention 
to some important points in the address. You can not 
read it too often. Teach it to the boys and girls. The 
present and future generations of this and other countries 
need to know more and more the fundamental truths 
in this address. 

"Knowledge," he says, "Is spreading from nation to 
nation, from race to race, and from man to man." He 
speaks of the importance of knowledge and makes us 
see that the advancement of the world is due to a clear 
perception of truth. Could Socrates have done more? 

He gives a vivid description of the connection of the 
two great races in America and urges mutual help on 
the part of both. Could the immortal B. T. Washing- 
ton have given better advice? 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 277 

He relates in glowing terms the obstacles that con- 
fronted the early preachers of our race, and praises their 
accomplishments in the strongest possible terms. His 
plea against a dual system of religion, of education, of 
morals, of efficiency, of salary, of schoolhouse equip- 
ments, of justice, etc., one for the white man, and one 
for the Negro, are the high points in the able address. 

His brief history of the Baptists in America is indeed 
good information for many of those who do not know 
about the early struggles of the leaders of this denomina- 
tion. The speaker makes a courageous appeal, with 
all the strength of his great soul, that courts, judges and 
jurors apply the same penalties to black and white alike 
for similar crimes against society. 

He makes it clear that the government for which 
we are willing to give our last drop of blood in its de- 
fence, should protect all of its citizens alike. Could a 
Lincoln ask more? 

He insists that bishops, clergymen, teachers, doctors, 
lawyers, business men, men of all callings and profes- 
tions, men in all walks of life, be men of a pious, 
dignified mien, sober, patriotic, race loving, with the 
highest moral conception, efficient, learned in their re- 
spective lines. Could a Cicero have asked more? 

To the colored business man or woman, he makes 
it clear that this is an age of combination and that the 
association of several along business lines, pooling their 
finances would in the end bring better returns than 
working separately. He tells the preacher the import- 
ance of his calling and implores him to be faithful in 
the discharge of his many duties. 

Mr. McDonald closes the address with an impas- 



278 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

sionate plea that our leaders everywhere urge "race 
combination, race independency, race culture and the 
nobility of honest labor; these things were and are the 
basis of Christianity." 

It is almost useless to relate the impression he made 
on that large audience. The mayor was the first to 
extend his hand and to conrgatulate Mr. McDonald 
upon his supreme effort. Many gathered around and 
thanked the orator for the wonderful message he 
brought them. The address made a profound impres- 
sion upon all who heard it and was upon the lips of the 
delegates the entire convention week. 

It has been my pleasure to hear Mr. McDonald on 
many occasions ; I have heard him deliver commence- 
ment addresses to graduating classes; I have heard him 
make political speeches; I have heard him deliver eman- 
cipation addresses; I have heard him on sundry occa- 
sions, but never has he surpassed his oratorical effort 
before the National Baptist Convention, held in Fort 
Worth, Texas, September 5th, 1923. 

For the past fifteen years, I have read all the 
speeches delivered by this noted orator that I could find 
in print. Those delivered in rural districts before local 
school gatherings, those delivered in county and district 
and state and national conventions, but to my mind none 
measure up to his effort of September, 1923, before the 
Baptists of the nation. 

I have read orations from the masters of the past and 
present, I have read many of the greatest orations that 
were ever delivered in Greece, Rome, France, Germany, 
England and America, and I am all the more convinced 
that fhe forty-five-minute deliverance of W. M. Mc- 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 279 

Donald on the above date will compare faborably with 
the best of them. 

If oratory is the art of moving people with words 
causing them to see, to feel, to think as the speaker does; 
if oratory is eloquence, that power which enables one to 
speak with fluency and elegance, then McDonald must 
be ranked with the greatest orators the world has 
produced. 

I have heard John W. Daniels, the late Senator from 
Virginia, when he was at his best, I have heard in the 
United States Senate some of his master orations which 
caused men to call him the silver-tongued orator of the 
Upper House. I have also heard in the Senate such 
orators as Hoar, Depew, Lodge, Quay, Foraker, Ingalls 
and many others; I have heard in the Lower House, 
the House of Representatives, such great speakers as 
Dingley, Bailey, Reed, Cochran and others too numer- 
ous to mention. I have heard speeches delivered by six 
Presidents of the United States and most of them were 
masters in the art of speaking; I have heard Rev. Dr. 
Talmadge, Father Stafford, Dr. Abbott, Bishop Albert 
Johnson, Rev. George W. Lee, Rev. Dr. Truett and 
Rev. Dr. J. Frank Norris; I have heard the great states- 
man and orator, the ex-slave, Fred Douglass, and the 
great apostle of industrial education, the late Booker 
T. Washington, and the admired entertainer, Roscoe 
Simmons — for the past two-score years I have heard 
most of the best that America has produced; but this 
man, William Madison McDonald, a son of a slave, 
is the equal of the best the Western Hemisphere has 
produced. 

The true test of oratory is the effect produced upon 



280 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the hearers. The human voice has been a factor most 
deeply significant in the development of the race. It 
has commanded on battlefields and inspired men to deeds 
of heroism. It has risen with incense from the altar 
and drawn men nearer to divine ideals. It has cham- 
pioned truth. Many sweet and rhythmical voices have 
come to us from the past. The voice of McDonald has 
been sweet music to his hearers. In many parts of this 
country the people have heard and heeded his voice. 

"The severest test of oratory is to convince an 
audience of unpleasant truths," says a writer. Demos- 
thenes spoke to his countrymen against a foreign in- 
vader, Philip of Macedon, the Athenians shouted, "To 
Arms — we will fight the invader! " When Cicero spoke 
the Romans exclaimed, "What language! What a 
voice!" When Webster spoke the Americans shouted, 
"There is but one government, one Union!" When 
Douglass spoke his hearers exclaimed that slavery must 
end. When McDonald speaks the people say "We 
believe!" 

Is he an orator? If McDonald is not an orator, where 
will oratory be found? Any definition of oratory that 
does not include his orations would easily exclude the 
orations of Webster, Clay, Lincoln, Douglass. If you 
think of the present orators, or the great orators of the 
past, and ask to whom the voice of mankind has decreed 
the wreath of oratory, let their productions be examined 
and their claims stated and the powers of Wm. Mc- 
Donald as a public speaker will certify him among the 
best with those of the past and present. 

He posseses extraordinary powers of understanding, 
which have been highly cultivated by extensive study 



OUR FOREMOST ORATOR 281 

and still more by meditation and reflection. His mem- 
ory is very retentive, his imagination supremely vigorous, 
and his judgment keen and penetrating. He has a great 
sense of the importance of religion. He is sincere and 
his zeal for virtue is beyond question. He is as careful 
in his conversations as in his writings. In both he has 
and does display much understanding of human nature 
and a thorough knowledge of the best writers of the 
past. His writings, his orations, all of his literary pro- 
ductions will be useful to both old and young as long 
as the language in which they are written shall be under- 
stood. 

As young Hamlet, through Shakespeare, describes his 
father, so may I describe the great leader of the Negro 
race : 

"See what a grace was seated on his brow. 
Hyperions curls, the front of Jove himself. 
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command; 
A station like the herald, Mercury, 
New-lighted on a Heaven-kissed hill; 
A combination and a form, indeed. 
Where every god did seem to set his seal 
To give the world assurance of a man." 

And as Milton portrayed the first man Adam: 

"His fair long front and eye sublime declared 
Absolute rule, and hyacinthan locks 
Round from his farted forelock manly hung 
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad." 

McDonald is six feet tall, slender, wiry, and of brown 
complexion. His brow is prominent, with a Roman 
nose, and sparkling eyes, those give him a commanding 
appearance. He has great self-possession, conscien- 



282 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

tiousness and a strong will-power. He is quick in 
motion and has an elastic tread. Nature has blessed 
him with all the elements of the great orator. Both 
white and colored have proclaimed him the greatest 
product of his native state as a platform orator. 



CHAPTER XIX. 
A Leader of His Race. 

For the past fifty years the Negro race has had leaders 
of national fame. Men who in the face of great ob- 
stacles have pled our cause; often to inattentive ears and 
cold hearts. Still these men have gone from place to 
place pleading the cause of a tardy race. Most of these 
men never received an A. B. degree from college, but 
in most cases they were self-made men, men who 
graduated from the great school of experience, men who 
studied in the last analysis the events in human affairs. 
They were natural born leaders. After all, I am fully 
convinced that great leaders, like great poets, are born 
with those exceptional qualities of leadership. No 
school can make leaders of men. Those essential qual- 
ities of good leadership are innate and only a few come 
into this world thus blessed. 

For the past half century too few histories of the 
leading men and women of the Negro race have been 
written. It is not because the race has failed to produce 
some great characters, whose noble deeds contributed 
largely to the advancement of mankind; but rather be- 
cause many of our best thinkers and writers were too 
busily engaged in getting the necessities of life and a 
somewhat tardy reading public has not fully appreciated 
the historical efforts of men and women of color. 

Too often men and women think that a history is not 
worth reading, especially the history of an individual, 

283 



284 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

unless it is the biography of a king or president or some 
governor or some notorious outlaw who may have sent 
many to untimely graves. But, dear reader, some of 
the men and women who have contributed most to ad- 
vancement of civilization, some who have given their 
lives in defense of their country ; some who have guided 
the affairs of state through rough seas, some who have 
stood every test of patriotism ; some, I say, these men 
and women are even more worthy of their deeds and 
actions being transmitted to coming generations than 
many about whom we read. 

In every state in this union where there are at least 
fifty thousand Negroes there should be a history of the 
race in that state. It is not necessary for the Negroes 
to have been slaves in the state, but if that number is 
found in the state some one should write their history. 
Then, after the history of the group is written, if there 
be some worthy man or woman who has been a bene- 
factor or benefactress in the group, his or her history 
should be written as an inspiration to others. Men and 
women of color will more easily follow ideals* found 
in their own race. 

Texas is a large state, the largest in the Union. It 
has an area of 265,780 square miles, 167,865,600 acres 
of land — enough to give nearly two acres to every man, 
woman and child in the United States. Its population 
is more than four and one-half millions. About one 
million of these are members of the Negro race. Cer- 
tainly it is time that the history of these one million 
people of color be given to a waiting world. Some of 
the most brilliant men and women our country has pro- 
duced were and are products of Texas. 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 285 

Of the many souls that live in this commonwealth, 
of the many who have assisted in the moral and educa- 
tional uplift of my people, there is not one who has done 
more than the subject of this sketch. I want you to 
know him, know his origin, know that his dear mother 
and father were slaves, but that they loved him. I 
, want you to know of his early struggles, to know of his 
success as a teacher of Negro boys and girls. I want you 
to know him as a young Negro politician with eloquence 
pleading the cause of his people. I want you to know 
him as a delegate to the National Republican Conven- 
tion when he told that distinguished body that he would 
not lie for a seat in the convention. I want you to know 
him as a successful banker, in whose care is entrusted 
more than one million dollars. I want you to know 
that he has been and is one of the most liberal men in 
the country. I want you to know that he has the 
supreme confidence of both white and colored who know 
him. I want you to know him as a devoted husband and 
a kind father. I want you to know his great love for his 
city, his state, his country and his devotion to their tenets. 
I want you to know his loyalty to his race and his un- 
bounded faith in our possibilities and capabilities. I 
want you to know the man. I want you to know that 
of all the men of our race now living in this great 
country that William M. McDonald is truly the leader 
of the masses. Those who may be in doubt as to his real 
leadership of the Negro race in this country will do well 
to read his address on the race question. It follows in 
full: 

THE RACE QUESTION. 
Address delivered on January 1, 1919, at Shreveport, La., 



286 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

by the Hon. William M. McDonald of Fort Worth, Texas, 
before the Organ Farm Land and Development Co., N. A. A. 
C. P., and Nineteenth of June Emancipation Association. Mr. 
P. L. Blackman introduced the speaker. He said: 

"Ladies and Gentlemen: 

"There has been so much dishonesty, there have been so 
many failures among us, that Negro people are afraid to trust 
you or me, or anybody except a man that is not a member of 
the race. 

"The Negro handles plenty of money, but there is very little 
Negro business independent of men not members of the race. 
If you were to go to the owner of a Ferry and upon seeing his 
boat lying high and dry on the shore should say, 'There is a 
superabundance of ferry-boat/ he would probably say, 'no, 
but there is a scarcity of water.' So with us Negro business 
men, — there is not a scarcity of money among Negroes, but 
there is a scarcity of Negro business. And this scarcity of 
Negro business springs from lack of confidence in the Negro 
business men or in one another. So many presidents of Negro 
Savings Banks, even those belonging to the church, the lodge, 
the Young Men's Christian Association, run off with funds 
intrusted to them; so many Negro Insurance Companies collect 
weekly dues from their members while they are well and 
willing to pay but no sooner than these members report ill, the 
Company finds a clause in the Contract or Policy which pre- 
vents them paying off. In a word there is so much bank- 
ruptcy on every hand among Negroes that all Capital belong- 
ing to members of our race is held in the nervous clutch of 
fear. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, slowly and surely we are 
coming to honest methods in business and we are going to 
succeed in spite of all the Tobiases, all the Sanbalids and all 
the obstacles put in our way. 

CONFIDENCE ABIDE. 

"Confidence must find an abiding place among us. The doors 
of opportunity must be opened by Negro men and for Negro 
men. Avenues of employment for Negro men, Negro women, 
Negro boys and girls must be opened up by Negro enterprises, 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 287 

and when confidence abides with us in one another our dollars 
will leave their hiding places and start on their nobler mission 
of adding wealth, happiness and contentment to black men of 
the earth. 

"For my part I do not ask any interference on the part of 
the Government, either State of National, except to undo the 
wrong it has done. When I say the Government, I mean the 
ruling classes and those charged with the responsibility of 
moulding public opinion. 

PROPAGANDA OF RULING CLASSES. 

"The ruling and controlling classes wherever there are fif- 
teen per cent of the population Negroes, put forth a deliberate, 
malicious and prejudicial propaganda against Negro honesty, 
fitness, morals, ability, and character. This propaganda instills 
in Negroes and white people everywhere distrust and a lack 
of confidence in enterprises and concerns which Negroes at- 
tempt to foster. This propaganda mobs, burns, lynches, de- 
stroys property, arrays class against class, race against race, 
denies one the right to labor and enjoy the fruits of his labor ; 
fosters peonage, licenses vice among our ignorant, destroys 
virtue among the virtuous, rewards dishonesty and humiliates 
and tramples under foot all manhood rights, because of one's 
color and the narrow selfish trait which permeates the breast 
of most of mankind is ever present in the Negro's soul to 
give credence and fan to flame a belief in this death dealing 
propaganda which has for three hundred years been the direct 
cause of confidence and race unity dwelling so far removed 
from the hearts of Negro men and Negro women. This 
propaganda was and is put forth in the interest of avarice and 
greed and should be stamped out by all honest men, white 
and black. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this infamous propaganda to which 
I have called your attention has done more to destroy your 
chance, your boys' chance and my chance than all the Jim Crow 
laws, grandfather clauses and segregation laws put on the 
statute books combined. These are only harmless phases on 
this cruel and brutal propaganda spread broadcast throughout 
the lands. 



288 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

"It is an imposition upon every solvent Negro man; a frown 
upon every virtuous Negro woman in the world. It assassinated 
Negro labor, Negro business, Negro enterprises, negro unity, 
Negro race pride, Negro independence, Negro rights and has 
written upon the face of every Negro man, woman and child, 
'inferiority.' 

"I despise this wretched propaganda — this American kultur. 
It robs our language of every sweet and tender word in it. It 
takes the fireside away forever. It takes the meaning out of 
the words, father, mother, sister, brother arid turns the temple 
of love into a vile den where crawls the slimy reptiles of lust 
and hatred. We must uproot DISTRUST and kill OLD 
MAN LACK-OF-CONFIDENCE. We must erect a monu- 
ment of confidence, honesty, and independence in every town 
and hamlet in this country. We must open wide the doors 
of honest employment to Negro men and women in every 
town and hamlet in this country. This is the life work of the 
few Negro business men here and yonder. It is your work, 
Negro men and women, everywhere, — north, east, west and 
south. 

BUSINESS MEN. 

"No business man can afford to raise hell, sow discord, stir 
up hate, appeal to prejudice, etc., to sell. He should raise 
hogs, sheep, horses, cows, mules, oats, and corn to sell. No 
business man should deal in slander, gossip, rumors, cheating 
and swindling to sell. He should deal in hardware, boots, 
shoes, drugs, etc., to sell. He should give a dollar's worth 
for a dollar and not expect any one to buy because he is a 
Negro. 

"Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, do not misunderstand me, 
do not reach the conclusion that I believe the Negro business 
man's only object in life should be to get money. Only last 
summer I was where they wrenched the precious metals from 
the miserly clutch of the rocks, where I saw the mountains of 
the Pacific slope, treeless, flowerless, without even a spire of 
grass. It seemed to me that gold had the same effect upon the 
country that holds it, as upon the man who lives and labors only 
for it. It affects the land as it does the man. It leaves the heart 




Dr. Jesse M. Mosely 
Very Close Friend to the McDonalds 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 289 

barren without a flower of kindness and without a blossom of 
pity. So I say we have plenty of money and plenty of brawn 
to produce more money, but your and my first lesson is to learn 
how to use and handle this money. 

"Now, let's see: Suppose that there are thirty thousand 
Negroes in and near Shreveport. They will need three pairs 
of shoes each per year to say the least. This is ninety thou- 
sand pair and this shows that the Negroes in and near Shreve- 
port spend on shoes alone the enormous sum of $450,000.00 
each year. These same thirty thousand Negroes must eat. 
They will spend each every month $15.00 for food. This is 
$450,000.00 per month, or $5,800,000.00 per year. The next 
essential articles are clothes. This same thirty thousand Ne- 
groes will spend $150.00 each year for clothes, equal to 
$4,500,000.00. Now, when we sum up, we are staggered to 
learn that these thirty thousand Negroes in and near Shreve- 
port spend just for the common things to maintain life, 
$10,750,000.00 in one year. I have said nothing of the 
moneys Negroes spend for snuff, tobacco, cigarettes, whiskey 
and beer. 

"Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, do you not sincerely agree 
with me that Negro men and women in and near Shreveport 
should welcome any Enterprise that will garner, use and 
handle this sum of money for the benefit of the race? We 
under the present methods produce this money and it is used 
and handled to the benefit and glory of the white race. The 
leaders of Negro thought and business acumen should quit the 
chase of Mr. Jim Crow and Miss Segregation and turn their 
attention to the development of Negro enterprises that will 
open the door of hope to the Negro man, woman and child. 

THE NEGRO PREACHER. 

"Fifty years ago the white man forced the Negro from his 
church. He licensed and ordained the Negro to go and preach 
the gospel of Jesus Christ to four and one-half million souls. 
Unlettered, without raiment, bare-footed and without money 
or script these men went forth and began to teach and preach. 
They hammered away against sin. Sometimes they were out 
in the swamp, sometimes they stood on the banks of the 



290 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

rivers, sometimes they were huddled together under brush 
arbors out in quiet woody places. Sometimes in old deserted 
log huts or cabins, but they hammered away. They used and 
handled the scant contribution of their flocks. They handled 
all the money lifted. Some of them ran away with the money, 
some of them drank whiskey and lived most immoral and 
miserable lives. Some of them destroyed the peace and happi- 
ness of this or that home, but all of these facts were simply 
incidents in their life's work. They had been licensed, ordained 
and sent to us by the white men to preach, and regardless of 
the fact that some were scoundrels, some were dishonest, some 
were rascals, some were home-wreckers, some destroyed the 
virtue of young, trusting girls j some stole all the money in- 
trusted to their keeping, and regardless of the fact that all of 
them were ignorant, which was a calamity, we never lost 
confidence in them and as fast as one would drop out, bruised 
and mangled, we would close up ranks and take out after 
another. We never did loose confidence in them and quit going 
to hear them preach. We did not go to the white church, 
listen to the white preacher and pay him all our church dues, 
as we do in a bank or business failure. No! Ladies and 
Gentlemen, we did not do that. We stood by the Negro 
preacher just as he was sent to us and the result is the Negro 
owns today over one hundred and fifty million dollars worth 
of church property. 

NEGRO LODGE LEADERS. 

"What I have said of the preachers is true of the leaders of 
lodges. The leaders of lodges have followed in the footsteps 
of the preachers. The leaders are men after or of the 
preachers' own heart, but we have stood by them; when one 
stumbled and fell by the roadside we passed by him, went on 
in our noble mission, with the result that these secret lodges are 
circulating more than ten million dollars yearly for the benefit 
of the race and giving thousands independent employment, 
with millions in assets to draw from. 

"I want to appeal to the preachers and leaders of lodges 
among the thirty thousand Negroes in and near Shreveport to 
adopt some plan whereby the $10,750,000.00 spent by them 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 291 

can be directly used and handled for Negro benefits. Negro 
men need more manliness, more real independence. We must 
take care of ourselves. This we can do by conserving our 
small earnings and preserving our independence. 

SEGREGATION. 

"We complain, growl and pass strong resolutions denouncing 
segregation and Jim Crow cars, etc. Now, let's examine the 
real concrete results of these scarce-crows. We are segregated 
in the church. Are you sorry, ashamed and humiliated because 
you have a splendid church edifice with a membership of three 
thousand Negroes and not a white man on your church roll? 

"We are segregated in our lodges. Are you sorry about it 
and longing to be permitted to join white men's lodges? 

"I do not know what you think about it, but I am firm in the 
opinion that every man, woman and child here tonight would 
say 'No! I am not ashamed of my church and I have never 
dreamed of being a member of a white lodge.' 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, listen: I have been in the great 
City of New York, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Washington, Chi- 
cago, Los Angeles j in fact, every city of any importance in 
the United States. In each of these cities all the different 
races of the earth live and segregate themselves. In this part 
or section of the city Dagoes live; in that part Irish 5 in yonder 
part Jews and in another Mexicans 5 in still another Japs and 
Chinese j up yonder white Americans and down yonder Negroes 
or black Americans. You say, 'Yes, Mr. McDonald, all you 
say is true. I have been in towns myself, but the Negro sec- 
tion or part of the city is poorly lighted, the streets are not 
paved, the houses are dilapidated, the yards are not kept, the 
section is low or marshy and the sanitary conditions are miser- 
able, and for these reasons I do not wish to be segregated.' 
Well, sir, or madam, I am going to ask you in all candor whose 
fault is it? Do you think that it is quite fair that the Dago, 
Mexican, Jap, Chinaman, Jew and white American should 
leave off beautifying their part or section of the city, come 
down to your section or part, pave the streets, erect beautiful 
modern nouses, set out trees, lay concrete sidewalks, plant 
flowers in your yard, put electric lights "up, clean up the back 



292 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

yard, destroy the flies and mosquitoes ; pull out all the dirty 
rags that you have crammed into your windows and thereby 
raise the value of your part of the city five thousand per cent? 
Fair men and women will not ask this. The independent man 
would say, 'Get out of my sunshine, I will build my own 
house my own self.' 

CITIES DON'T PAVE STREETS. 

"Cities do not pave streets, lay concrete sidewalks, set out 
trees, plant flowers, erect beautiful houses, for homes, pipe in 
gas, string up electric lights for our homes. We must do all 
of these things ourselves. 

"If you want a beautiful home, go build it. 

"If you want concrete sidewalks, go have them put down. 

"If you want your street paved, go to a street contractor and 
have him do the work. 

"If you want beautiful trees and flowers, set them out. 

"If you want gas and electric lights, go have them put in. 

"If you want to live and be in the most beautiful and in- 
viting part or section of the city, go to work and make it so. 
If you will do these things, ladies and gentlemen, all your 
imaginary complaints will pass away like a mist before the 
rising sun. And then when the idle rich, regaled in all of their 
luxury strollnig or driving out to catch fresh air perfumed 
with flowers from Negroes' yards, their eyes will behold the 
most beautiful part or section of the city. 

"Do you wish to have Negro clerks in grocery stores? Go 
and establish such stores. 

"Do you wish to have Negro bank clerks and cashiers? Go 
and establish you a bank. 

"Do you wish to have Negroes head of great life insurance 
companies? Go and establish these. 

"Do you wish to have great Negro editors? Go and establish 
a Negro paper. 

"Do you wish to have Negroes manage great business con- 
cerns and great enterprises? Go and establish them. Treat 
these as we have treated the church and lodge — stand by them, 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 293 

support them and feel that you are honored when you support 
and maintain business enterprises managed and controlled by 
Negroes for the benefit of our race. 

OPPOSED TO NEGRO GETTING RICH. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, I know that there are those among 
us who, if judged by their actions, are opposed to a Negro 
getting rich. They seem to think very little of the race's wel- 
fare, or, better said, perhaps, they appear indifferent and throw 
the weight of their patronage against the struggling members 
of the race. It is the duty of every preacher, every doctor, 
every school teacher, every lawyer, every leading lodge man, 
woman and child, to throw the weight of their patronage and 
influence to business concerns conducted by the race, with the 
race and for the race. 

"Every Negro bank should be filled with Negro money, just 
as white banks are filled with white people's money. Every 
Negro business should be supported by Negro money. Every 
doctor or professional man of every description must have the 
united and unchanging support, morally and financially of each 
member of the race, just as other races support their profes- 
sional men. And in this way all of the avenues of employment 
will be opened to the Negro. 

"I can think of no valid reason why black men should not 
rejoice in the prosperity of the black man. If we had a few 
rich men and women among us it would be better for the race 
and the time would soon come when we would transmit to our 
children an inheritance of material wealth, thereby allowing 
them to become absolutely independent and a blessing to all of 
the people regardless of their color. For my part I envy the 
man who has lived on the same broad acres from his boyhood, 
who cultivates the fields where in youth he played and lived 
where his father lived and died. 

"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we should be done with saying 
'I am not going to make this or that Negro rich.' In the name 
of God, will you tell me what would become of the white race, 
the Mexican race, the Japanese race, the Jewish race, or the 
German race, if nine-tenths of their members stood around on 



294 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

the streets or sat in their homes and swore by heaven and earth, 
good and bad, that they were not going to make this or that 
white man, that Mexican, that Japanese, that Jew or that Ger- 
man rich and that they will never work for them? 

"Do you believe that if the white men of America had taken 
such a low and degrading stand or position that President 
Wilson would be in France today dictating the peace policies or 
terms to the world? Do you believe that Germany could have 
stood for years against the entire world if nine-tenths of the 
Germans had taken such a stand? No, ladies and gentlemen, 
they could not. 

"I do not know what you think about it, but from my view- 
point the race honors themselves when they support a member 
of the race and help him rise to a position of high standing, 
wealth and commanding influence. The race is doubly hon- 
ored when the race works for the race. A race is dishonored 
when it works for and makes rich any race except its own. And 
what is true of a race is true of a nation. Americans will never 
work for and make rich Englishmen, Japs, Germans, Italians, 
Mexicans, nor for that matter, any nation on earth at the ex- 
pense of Americans. We as Americans would wade in blood 
knee deep and suffer to be buried alive before we would do 
such a mean thing. 

"Therefore, Negro men and women, take the cue and for 
God's sake stop saying that you will not work for and make 
Negroes rich. Rather than have this saying true that the 
Negro will not work for himself and make himself rich, I had 
rather see the earth open and swallow twelve million of us 
tonight. Don't you see that these infamous sayings pauperize 
the Negro race and make it the slave of all other races? And 
I would have every one who hears me tonight swear that he 
or she will never contribute by word or act to foster this in- 
famous teaching. I want every one of you to say that you will 
never directly or indirectly give support to any man or woman 
who will stand on the streets or sit in his or her house and say 
'I am not going to work and make the Negro rich, or I am 
not going to work for a Negro.' 

"Ladies and gentlemen, no matter what may come to me or 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 295 

what may come to you, let us work for and make rich the 
Negro race. Let us do exactly what all races are doing and 
what we must do as a race if we desire to be other than slaves, 
peons, hewers of wood and drawers of water. 

"As I have said before, rather than to have this doctrine to 
become a fixed and unchanging thought and action of the Negro 
race, I would rather the whole Universe would go to nothing if 
such a thing were possible, this minute. Rather than have the 
glittering dome of deceit and docility reared on the eternal 
abyss of prosperity, happiness and contentment I would rather 
see the utter and eternal destruction of this Universe. I would 
rather see the shining fabric of our Universe crumble to un- 
meaning chaos and take itself where oblivion broods and mem- 
ory forgets. I would rather the blind Samson of some im- 
prisoned force released by thoughtless chance should so rack 
and strain this world that man in stress and strain in astonish- 
ment and fear should suddenly fall back to savagery and bar- 
barity. I would rather that this thrilled and thrilling Globe 
shorn of all life should in its cycles stop the wheel, the parent 
star on which the light should fall, as fruitlessly as falls the 
gaze of love on death than to have these infamous sayings 
become the ruling and controlling thoughts of my race. 

WHAT THEY SAY. 

"I know that they say that the Negro race has not the will 
or the capacity to work together for good or evil. Some say 
God put a curse upon our foreheads. Some say that as a race 
we sprang from the monkey or ape family and that it is im- 
possible for us to rise above monkey tricks and throwing cocoa- 
nuts at each other. Regardless of all this, ladies and gentle- 
men, I had rather belong to a race of people that came from 
tadpoles in the swampy ponds of Africa, that wiggled without 
knowing they were wiggling, that began to develop and came 
up by a gradual development until they struck the cocoanut 
throwing monkey or ape, coming up slowly, up, up, up, until, 
for instance, they produced such a man as Fred Douglass, he 
who harvested all the fields of forensic thought and after 
whom all others have been only imitators; he found the human 
intellect so far as the Negro is concerned dwelling in a hut, 



296 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

touched it with the wand of his genius and eloquence and it 
became a storehouse of oratory. I had rather belong to a race 
commencing at the tadpole, monkey or ape, coming on up until 
it produced Mr. Douglass, Bishorj Turner and thousands of 
men like them, than to have descended from a perfect white 
pair and degenerated into mobbers, lynchers, white slavers, 
bomb throwers and traitors to their country. I had rather 
belong to a race that is going up than to a race that is coming 
down. I had rather belong to a race that commenced from 
the tadpole and started to perfection than to belong to a race 
that started from perfection and degenerates to a tadpole. I 
believe in advancement and the things I have pointed out is 
advancement. 

THE PAST RISES BEFORE ME. 

"The past rises before me and I see four and one-half mil- 
lion human beings in slavery. I see the auction block and the 
whipping post. I see babies jerked from their mother's breast 
and sold into slavery. I see all the relations of mother, father, 
sister and brother trampled beneath the brutal feet of might. 
I hear the yelps of the bloodhounds and the crack of the 
cruel whip. 

"But I look back today and see the faces of the free where 
all was misery, want and fear; I see school houses, churches, 
modern homes and a happy people with a few brave men and 
women contending for life, liberty and the pursuits of 
happiness. 

"Let these contentions become contagious. Let it become 
the all-absorbing and ever-dominating with and desire of black 
men and women everywhere. Teach this doctrine from the 
pulpit, in the lodge, around our firesides and in the school 
rooms; on the highways and in our daily life and the time will 
not be far distant when we can stand on our feet, look the 
whole world in the face and demand a FREE MAN'S 
RIGHTS." 

Many thousands of the above address were circulated 
among the people of this country. Both white and 
colored sent for it long after its deliverance. Many 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 297 

congratulatory letters from all sections of the country 
were received by Mr. McDonald. Space will not per- 
mit me to give those letters. One of them will give you 
an idea of how well the address was received: 

"Nashville, Tenn., February 8, 1919. 
"Hon. W. M. McDonald, 

"Cashier of the Fraternal Bank & Trust Co., 

"Fort Worth, Texas. 
"My dear Friend McDonald: 

"It was big-hearted of you to let me see a copy of your 
address on the Race Question, delivered at Shreveport, Loui- 
siana, January 1, 1919. I am so well impressed with the 
address and with the author of it, and I feel that I ought to 
act and do as the woman of Samaria whom Christ converted: 
That is, I ought to go and tell the people of Samaria, Judea 
and all the regions round about by publishing it in full, but I 
don't want to do anything to effect the sale of the address, if 
you are having it for sale. 

"Accept my congratulations upon it together with my best 
wishes for a successful 1919. 

"Our Press Association has just closed; we had a great 
gathering. My father is in splendid health and wishes to be 
remembered. Trust Mrs. McDonald is in good health. 

"Yours truly, 

"Henry A. Boyd, 
"Assistant Secretary National Baptist 
Publishing Board." 

In November, 1921, I wrote Mr. Roscoe Simmons, 
our noted platform orator, asking him to come to Texas 
for a lecture tour. In his reply on the 1 8th of the same 
month and year among other things he said, "Mr. Mc- 
Donald, I consider the ablest political mind in the 
United States. He is not only an able, a gifted, cour- 
ageous, natural leader of the thought that makes empires 



298 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

and creates nations, but he is also a benefactor of the age 
in which he has lived. Who will write the history of 
his life? If Texans refuse the task, I shall grasp it as 
a golden opportunity to celebrate the labors of a very 
heroic figure. The tragedy of Texas is that he has no 
successor in blood and name." 

The noble deeds of McDonald are not confined to his 
native state. He is a citizen of the world. Men in other 
states have learned of him. It is impossible to write the 
true history of Texas or the nation and mention the noble 
deeds of men without stating the good part McDonald 
has played. 

As a leader he has never sought office in the state or 
nation. Positions both at Austin and at Washington 
have been offered him, but he has always declinied in 
favor of a more unfortunate brother financially. 

If leaders of men are born, then McDonald is a 
natural born leader. If you examine his work as a 
grade pupil and as a high school pupil, you will find that 
he excelled in his work; that the teachers and principals 
invariably called upon him when they desired to make 
the most favorable impression for their school. If you 
note his energy when he hired himself to work for 
others, you will see that he was so particular in details, 
so careful in the performance of duties that his em- 
ployers willingly promoted him. If you examine his 
record when he taught in the public schools, a period of 
eight years, you will find that the school authorities, both 
local and state, recognized him as one of the leading 
pedagogues of the country. 

If you consider him as a fraternal brother, you will 
note his progress from the first degree to the last, by dint 



A LEADER OF HIS RACE 299 

of ability climbing rapidly until he reaches the topmost 
round, writing laws and framing constitutions for the 
guidance of the orders. If you consider him as a polit- 
ical leader, you will find that he has been true to his 
constituency, standing at all times for the best interest 
of those who trusted him. If you think of him as a 
banker, you will find that both white and colored have 
trusted him to the fullest extent. If you consider him 
as an orator, you will conclude that his silver tongue has 
persuaded the multitude on every platform in this coun- 
try. If you study the man you will agree with me that 
he is the real true leader of the Negroes of this country. 



CHAPTER XX. 

An Author. 

Thirty-five years ago, when McDonald joined the 
Seven Stars of Consolidation there were not very many 
men and women of my race capable, from an intellectual 
standpoint, of producing books. The last quarter of a 
century has brought about many changes. It is not a 
difficult task to find many of my group fully competent 
to write books that would rank as standard literature. 

Mr. McDonald has written many pamphlets on sun- 
dry subjects. He is the author of several rituals and 
four or five constitutions for secret societies. His auto- 
biography, the first book he attempted to write, is indeed 
well worth publishing. Several times I have urged him 
to have his history written by himself printed but he 
seems rather modest in giving to the world what he 
thinks of himself. However, I hope that this book will 
in a measure let the world know just some of the many 
things he has done in his very busy life. 

I am sure no one knows his history better than he. 
He knows the events of his life. He knows his early 
struggles and I am certain an account of his life from 
his pen would be an interesting book for the boys and 
girls of this and the coming generations. Mr. Mc- 
Donald is like that great historian, Xenophon, who 
wrote the history of the Greeks. For years the manu- 
script was packed away in his trunk. It was not until 
after his death that some of his friends found the manu- 

301 



302 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

script and when they had read it over decided to publish 
it. The world is much indebted to Xenophon for his 
immortal history of the Greeks. 

After giving many details in his experience Mr. Mc- 
Donald closes the history of his life with the following 
words : 

"I give this sketch of my life, hoping that it may fall into 
the hands of some youth of my race of similar circumstances 
and inspire him to set his mark high, and strike boldly out to 
sea upon the unknown voyage of human failures and happiness. 
In closing this brief statement of my life, yet as true as I am 
able to describe in so few words, I shall urge upon the reader 
to follow me through the pages of this book, wrapping our- 
selves up in the ancient splendor and greatness of our once 
honored ancestors, taking a true view of their dethronement 
and banishment into the jungles of Africa, in the cliffs of 
Mount Kilemeujaro, the Nile, Congo, Niger and the Zambezi, 
following them from thence to a far-off New World, and 
there witness one of the most cruel slaveries that ever was 
perpetrated upon a human being — too black to be recorded in 
the annals of America's fair history j and enjoy there on the 
very spot where all those crimes were committed the blessing 
of a free and happy people, where all alike can sing 'My 
Country, 'Tis of Thee.' 

"Very truly yours for the race, 

"Wm. M. McDonald." 

Some years ago Mr. McDonald wrote the history of 
the Negroes of Texas. I wish, dear reader, that I could 
give the entire history as it came from the pen of this 
student of his state and his country. It is too sad that 
the book has not been published, for you have missed 
one of the best histories of the Lone Star State that has 
ever been written. It was my good fortune to look over 
some papers belonging to Mr. McDonald, and in a large 



AN AUTHOR 303 

collection of writings — his own production — I came 
across his unprinted manuscript giving the history of his 
native state 5 especially that part that has to do with the 
colored citizens. I hope at some day not far off that the 
book may be published. Our boys and girls need to read 
more books written by our men and women. From them 
they will get a certain amount of inspiration that, I am 
sure, they could not get from other sources. 

If I am unable to persuade McDonald to publish his 
history I hope that in due time the good colored people 
of the state will see to it that the book is given to a wait- 
ing world. I have read the manuscript and I think so 
well of many things that he says in his unpublished 
book that I shall take the liberty to bring a few of his 
inspiring words to you. 

He gives as his aim in writing the book patriotism and 
his high regard for humanity. He aims to inform those 
who may have the pleasure to read the book. A man 
could not have a better purpose in giving his views to the 
world. He begins his book as follows: 

"The task of writing the history and lives of the Texas 
Negroes has been assumed by me with no little diffidence; sur- 
rounded as the work has been with many hard disadvantages 
and obstacle of no ordinary character. Chief of these is the 
disadvantage of a poor literary qualification. It has often been 
said there is no race in the world whose history and lives pre- 
sent such varied and romantic scenes as does that of the Negro. 
This alone should recommend the book to the general reader 
and the earnest student. But there is, in addition to its interest, 
a weighty reason why every reading person in the state should 
give the Life of Texas Negroes a place in their course of study. 
No person who learns well the lessons therein taught can fail 
to become a better and wiser citizen. 

"The author has aimed to imbue the reader with a high 



304 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

regard for fartiotism and humanity. This manual is not a 
mere picture book or a denominational story book. With such 
works the market is fully supplied. It aims at something which 
if not higher is at least different from the many books written 
by Negro authors. Pictures of our leading men are omitted 
from the fact that many of those who have kept the fire of 
patriotism aglow are yet alive and can be seen at any public 
gathering of note 5 and again, many are young men, and if 
for nothing else — good taste and elegant style would discard 
the idea of filling the pages of such a volume with boyish 
pictures. It is designed as a book of information, and hence 
discards the high-flown picture illustrations. The reader will 
derive his interest from the lucid presentation of the subject 
matter. We should lose no occasion to cultivate true patriot- 
ism — not the blind egotism that asserts our race to be without 
fault or blemish, but the love that sees all faults and resolves 
to correct such faults." 

After giving his aim in writing the book, McDonald, 
as most historians do, gives a brief description of the 
great state in which the Negroe v s About whom he is 
writing live. This description is largely historical. Even 
if you have read the history of Texas, it is well for you 
to read and study closely his general description. If you 
are interested in the colored folks of this state, certainly 
vou should read his words. 

One of my main aims in giving you the history of this 
man is to show his contribution to the advancement of 
his people and even those of the other race with whom 
he has come in contact. You can not know his real 
worth unless you know his contribution to society. I 
want you to see him in every light. I want you to know 
that he is not only our greatest statesman, politician, 
financier and lodge man, but he has contributed much to 
our advancement in the field of literature. When his 
true works are known, when the world really knows the 




W. O. Bundy, A. B. 

The Author 



AN AUTHOR 305 

man, it will proclaim "well done." In giving his his- 
torical and descriptive sketch of Texas McDonald speaks 
as follows: 

"A BRIEF HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE 
SKETCH OF TEXAS. 

"Robert Cavalier Siem de LaSalle was a French explorer 
who descended the Mississippi from the French possessions 
around the Great Lakes and reached its mouth in April, 1682. 
There he landed and planted the flag of France, announcing 
in the name of his king, Louis XIV, possession of all the 
country watered by the great river and its tributaries. He 
returned to France and described in glowing terms the country 
over which he had announced dominion. After much delay 
his sovereign fitted out a fleet of four vessels and commissioned 
him to colonize the country. He set sail with about 400 people, 
including priests, soldiers and mechanics, in July, 1684. His 
immediate purpose was settlement, and conversion of the 
Indians, but remotely he intended to push westward and gain 
possession of Spanish mines in the north of Mexico. LaSalle 
was a brilliant and daring discoverer and no physical barrier 
dulled the eagerness of his ambition. His descent of the Mis- 
sissppi River, under the most trying circumstances, several 
times defeated and made to turn back through perversity of 
enemies or the infidelity of friends, is a story of more hardships 
and adventures than ever beset Columbus ; while his voyage 
from France in search again of the mouth of the great river 
was a train of disasters which ended in a tombless grave some- 
where in the wilderness of Texas. After leaving France he 
encountered stormy weather and one of his vessels was cap- 
tured by the Spanish. From the outset he had trouble with 
his naval commander, whom the king had placed in authority 
over the expedition while at sea. Several quarrels between 
the two leaders foreboded the contention, distrust and treachery 
which awaited the dauntless explorer. When he had first 
reached the mouth of the river he had made a mistake or 
neglected some necessary point in taking his geographical bear- 
ing, and this, with prevailing currents of the gulf, caused him 



306 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to go too far to the east. He went entirely beyond the mouth 
of the Mississippi, became confused, and was practically lost 
on the Gulf of Mexico. After touching at various points on 
the coast, including perhaps Galveston island, he finally en- 
tered Matagorda Bay early in 1685, and moved up the Lavaca 
River a few miles, where he effected a settlement, which he 
named Fort St. Louis in honor of Louis XIV. 

"History of that date nowhere mentions a Negro slave as 
being a part or a member of that little settlement, but there 
can be no doubt that not a few of LaSalle's settlers were 
Negroes in the capacity of slaves. This entrance was not 
accomplished without severe loss. One vessel was wrecked 
entering the bay, the captain of another in a moment of dis- 
agreement, sailed back to France, and the last was subse- 
quently wrecked cruising about the bay. So that when LaSalle 
was ultimately established in Texas he had but few followers 
and scant provisions. To add to his troubles sickness laid low 
the camp and many died from exposure. As soon as he had 
made his little company as comfortable and secure as his rude 
surroundings would permit, LaSalle selected a few of his 
healthiest men and set out to find the Mississippi. He thought 
he was near the great river and vainly hoped that the Lavaca 
might be one of its numerous outlets to the sea. He returned 
unsuccessful, but not disheartened. On the trip he lost some 
of his men by exposure, some by Indian attacks and one was 
eaten by an aligator. He made the second and third trip with- 
out success. At last he became convinced that he was far from 
the Mississippi and concluded to make his way to De Tonti, a 
lieutenant whom he had left at the mouth of the Illinois River. 
He encouraged his followers to believe that he would return, 
and with a few brave followers set out on the journey, which 
proved to be his last. 

"They traveled for several weeks over a former route and 
halted near the Sabine River in Eastern Texas. A party was 
sent to find some provisions that had been hid away on the 
previous trip. They quarreled over a small matter and Mo- 
ranget, LaSalle's nephew, was slain by the others. After wait- 
ing several days LaSalle started to find the party and did so. 



AN AUTHOR 307 

He questioned the murderers about Moranget, and without 
warning was himself shot to death. He was buried on that 
silent spot by his faithful friend and priest, Father Anastase. 
His settlement on the Lavaca was destroyed by Indians and of 
the company seeking De Tonti only two or three reached him 
and finally got back to France. 

"On this accidental settlement France based her claim to 
Texas. The Spaniards, however, were more foxy than the 
French and firmly established themselves in Texas. Hence 
at the beginning of the nineteenth century Texas, was in con- 
nection with Mexico, under the government of a Spanish vice- 
roy. Mexico having become independent in 1820, several 
white citizens of the United States obtained grants of land in 
Texas. Among them was S. F. Austin, a son of Moses Austin. 
Young Austin established a colony in what is now Austin 
County. Many other colonies were established and they 
grew rapidly, on account of the liberal inducement held out to 
the settlers who would come from the United States. As the 
whites are a rebellious race, they accordingly revolted, threw 
off Mexican rule and set up an independent government in 
1836. In their struggle for independence Negroes played 
an active part. Several hundred availed themselves of the 
opportunity and escaped into Mexico and obtained freedom. 
Thousands proved loyal and true to every trust. Their great- 
est trusts were to fell the forest, gather in the rich golden 
harvest and protect the weak and helpless women and children 
from outrages, misery, woe and a most cruel heartrending 
death. A sublime duty! This the Negroes did while the 
white men (their masters) engaged in warfare. In those days 
the American Indian lurked in every ravine, waiting a chance 
to commit crimes that would make the people of Rome in her 
worst days stand back in paralyzed horror. 

"Which was the greatest soldier — the white man who left 
all that should have been sacred and dear to him exposed to 
the cruel tortures of the savage Indians, went off and fought 
for spoils, extension of territory and to appease an ambitious 
desire to rule and govern, or the black (slave) man who re- 
mained at home, felled the forest, plowed in the broad acres, 



308 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

gathered in the rich golden harvest, which is the mainspring 
to wealth, and protected the weak and helpless women and 
children from outrages, misery, woe and a most cruel, heart- 
rending death? Let a candid and just world decide. This is 
not the time for the author to discuss the virtues of the greater 
soldier or the shortcomings of the less. For the time being let 
the reader ponder this question well. 

"Now that Texas was free from Mexico and it was so 
acknowledged by several nations, what was it? A republic 
of course. Think of it! Twenty thousand people set up a 
republic! What could 1 0,000,000 American Negroes do in the 
wilderness of Africa? Ask Him who rules the wind — no man 
can tell. For ttn years Texas remained an independent re- 
public under most trying ordeals. It was admitted to our 
federal Union December 29, 1 845. Texas is called the 'Lone 
Star State.' It borders upon the great Gulf of Mexico and is 
located between the parallels of 25 degrees 51 minutes and 
36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude and the meridians 16 
degrees 27 minutes and 29 degrees 43 minutes west from 
Washington. In size Texas is the largest state in the Union, 
covering an area of 265,780 square miles. To the casual 
reader these figures mean but very little. They show, how- 
ever, that Texas is more than fifty-four times as large as the 
state of Connecticut. If it were possible to run a railway 
train from Connecticut to Texas and back in a day and if the 
train could take the entire population of the Nutmeg State 
as given by the last census (1890) at every trip, and upon its 
return there should be as many persons in the state as there 
were before the train left with its cargo, and if each one of 
these people were placed upon an acre of ground upon his 
arrival in Texas the train would be obliged to make 224 trips 
or depopulate Connecticut 224 times before accomplishing its 
mission, and then there would remain in Texas 703,808 empty 
acres. It may be of passing interest to the reader to know that 
such a train made up of coaches twenty feet long capable of 
accommodating fifty passengers each would extend over a dis- 
tance of more than fifty-six miles. If the entire state of Texas 
were planted with corn and the hills were two feet apart and 



AN AUTHOR 309 

the rows were three feet apart, and if every man, woman and 
child in the state of Connecticut were set to work in the field 
to hoe corn and each person was able to and did hoe two hills 
in five minutes it wuold take this army of laborers seven years, 
280 days and seven hours to hoe every hill of corn in the 
state, laboring continuously day and night 365 days each year. 
To those persons who have never stopped to consider how 
great a country they are living in these figures may be of inter- 
est. Any man who fears he could not elbow his way around 
in the Lone Star State without chafing the nap of his coat 
sleeves may gather some solace from the statement that the 
entire living population of the globe, 1,400,000,000 souls, 
divided into families of five persons each, could be located in 
Texas, each family with a house on a half-acre lot, and there 
would still remain 50,000,000 vacant family lots. Texas is 
the best state of the entire Southern States, so far as the 
Negroes are concerned. Indeed, the people of this state seem 
to have been born 'BRAVE and CHARITABLE' and I would 
be understood to mean all that phrase or words implies. Texas 
soil is simply productive of brave and patriotic deeds. Let 
no one say that native Texans, be they black or white, are born 
cowards. I shall speak more upon this subject in another 
place. It will be adequate for me to now review the 'Alpha 
Omega' of the race which God has doubtless preserved for the 
noble purpose of PRODUCING sustenance and protecting 
the helpless of the New World — while the white men went 
about murdering and plundering their political foes, excusing 
themselves for their barbarious crimes by crying 'War!' " 

I am sure you are interested in the origin of the 
Negro. Perhaps you have read many books on the sub- 
ject. In this advanced age, all men agree that out of 
one blood, God made all people. Still in the past, and 
even in the lifetime of many who are now living there 
were some writers who had the affrontery to assert that 
the Negroes were not related by blood to some of the 
other races of mankind. We are all the work of nature. 



310 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Climatic conditions, mode of living and circumstances 
have had to do with the many grades and colors of man- 
kind. As to the origin of the Negro, I know of no better 
description than the one given by William McDonald. 
Read his views: 

ORIGIN OF THE NEGROES. 

"It shall not be the purpose of the author to make an 
elaborate research of ancient history to find the origin of the 
Negro. But this book would be incomplete should the author 
fail to give a short sketch of the origin and doings of the race 
which he is about to write. Nor does he write this chapter in a 
boastful spirit, nor to show that royal blood is rushing through 
the negroes' veins ; but as a matter of history and facts, which 
should be recorded. Well the question might be asked: 'From 
whence came the American Negro?' Happily for the Amer- 
ican Africans that their forefathers' history has not been lost 
in obscurity like the American Indians' history. All scholars 
know that from the foot of Mount Ararat upon the summit 
of which Noah's ark rested, is the place from which the family 
of Noah and those of his sons spread themselves in the beau- 
tiful and fertile plains around them. 

"This is an absolute fact which no scholar, student or reader 
of ancient history or of the Bible can AUTHENTICALLY 
contradict, the author will rest himself contented with the 
scriptural information given in Genesis, that Noah begat 
Shem, Ham and Japheth, and that Noah, Shem, Ham and 
Japheth are the ancestors of all living human beings now scat- 
tered over the face of the globe. In this truth we must can- 
didly admit that ALL living generations sprang from the 
same parent, and as such there should be nothing but peace 
and harmony between all nations, ever remembering that 
where brethren and sisters are, THAT they should dwell 
together in unity. 

"HAM and his sons went south from Mt. Ararat and set- 
tled on the Euphrates River and after many years crossed the 
Isthmus of Suez into Africa. 



AN AUTHOR 311 

"Ham was the father of Cush, Misraim, Put and Canaan. 
CUSH was the father of the great Babylonians. MISRIAM 
was the father of the Egyptians. PUT was the father of the 
Libyans, and Canaan was the father of the Phoenicians, Car- 
thagenians, etc. 

"Be it understood that JAPHETH was the father of the 
Caucasians; Shem was the father of the Malayians. Their 
color varies from a rich yellow to a dark brown, with long, 
straight hair. 

"NOAH, with his young children, it is related, went east 
from Mount Ararat into Asia and founded the China mon- 
archy B. C. 2207. 

"ISHMAEL doubtless was the father of the Arabs. He 
was a cross breed. His mother, Hagar, was an Egyptian, and 
his father, Abraham, was a white man (father of the Jews). 

"NIMROD, a grandson of Ham, built a city and called it 
BABYLON B. C. 2217. 

"It is the same city that we read so much of in the Bible. 

"The monarchy of Egypt was founded by MISRAIM, the 
son of Ham, just twenty-nine years after Nimrod built Baby- 
lon, or B. C. 2188. 

"It continued to exist under various forms until subjected 
by the Romans B. C. 31. 

"THEBES was built B. C. 2126, MEMPHIS was built 
near the same time and CARTHAGE was built B. C. 869 by 
the same race of people; namely, the offsprings of Ham. From 
this people Greece received her wisdom in science and arts. 

"INACHUS, a native of PHOENICIA and the son of 
OCEANUS and TETHYS, emigrated to Greece and built the 
city of ARGOS B. C. 1 856, over which he reigned sixty years. 
He built a temple and taught the people a knowledge of the 
gods. 

"OGYGES, a Phoenician or an Egyptian, was among the 
first to colonize Greece. He reigned in BOETIA or ATTICA 
B. C. 1796. 

"CECROPS, a native of Sais, Egypt, led a colony into 
Greece, occupied Attica and built ATHENS B. C. 1556. This 



312 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

good man died after a happy reign of fifty years, which was 
spent in elevating the minds of his subjects. 

"It is conceded that he instituted the Judicial Tribunal, the 
Areopagus (the Hill of Mars), so-called because MARS, a 
prince of Thessaly who committed murder was the first man 
condemned by this court, B. C. 1532. 

"People or races in those days took the name of their cities 
and countries. Thus if one lived in Egypt he was called an 
Egyptian, or if one lived in a city named Babylon he was called 
a Babylonian, and if one lived in Ethiopia he was called an 
Ethiopian, just as we in this day are called Texans because we 
live in Texas or Fort Worthites because one may live in the 
city of Fort Worth. 

"ETHIOPIA was a country also inhabited by the same stock 
or race of people as those of Egypt. 

"HERODOTUS, the father of anicent history, after de- 
scribing Arabia as a land exhaling the most delicious fragrance 
says: 'Ethiopia, which is the extremity of the habitable world, 
is contiguous to this country on the southwest. Its inhabitants 
are very remarkable for their size, their beauty and length of 
life.' In his third book he has a detailed description of a single 
tribe of these people called the long-lived Ethiopians. 

"CAMBYSES, the Persian king, made war upon Egypt 
and partly subdued it. He is then filled with an ambitious 
desire to further extend his conquest and resolves in his heart 
to make war upon the Ethiopians. But before undertaking his 
perilous expedition he sends spies into the country disguised 
as friendly ambassadors, who carry costly presents from 
Cambyses to the Ethiopian king. They arrive at the court of 
the Ethiopian king, a man superior to all others in perfection 
of size and beauty, who sees through their disguise and takes 
down a bow of such a large size that no Persian could bend it, 
and said: 'Give your king this bow and in my name speak to 
him thus: The king of Ethiopia sends this council to the king 
of Persia. When his subjects shall be able to bend this bow 
with the same ease that I do then let him attack the long-lived 
Ethiopian 5 meanwhile let him be thankful to the gods that 
the Ethiopians have not been inspired with the same hope and 



AN AUTHOR 3 13 

love of conquest as himself.' Indeed this was an eloquent and 
a patriotic speech, which clearly demonstrates the fact that it 
was not and is not the Negro's nature to plunder and destroy 
even his foes. 

"NIMROD introduced the Zabian idolatry or worship of 
the heavenly bodies, B. C. 2233. After his decease he was 
deified by his subjects and in their superstition imagined him 
to have been translated to the constellation Orion. 

"Hence we have African tribes who worship the sun, stars, 
etc., until this day. 

"As the reader has already learned that the monarchies of 
Africa subsisted through some kind of a form until finally sub- 
jected by the Romans B. C. 31, when the acts of these Africans 
pass into silent history. All nations must rise and all nations 
must fall. So it was with this once mighty race of thrifty and 
enlightened people. Their greatness, however, is inscribed 
with a pen of iron upon the 'Seven Wonders of the World' in 
golden letters which time and ages cannot erase. 

"Their wisdom in the arts and sciences are seen and felt 
wherever the foot of civilized man has trod. Earthquakes 
and horrible wars cannot wipe out their f oortprints. Hamilcar, 
Hannibal, Nebuchadnezzar, Hirman, Queen Dido, Alexander, 
Euclid, Solomon and thousands of others prominent in ancient 
history had Negro blood coursing through their veins. This 
is an absolute fact. 

"Armenia was a country south of Mount Ararat and the 
kings of this country were the direct offsprings of the sons of 
Ham. 

"It might be of interest to the reader to know that in those 
days a mixing in marriage was tolerated among all races. And 
in this way kings and queens of mixed blood sometimes ruled 
together. 

"The king of Armenia having refused to pay a tribute due 
the Medes, Cyrus invaded his country or state, took the fortress 
to which he had retreated and made captives of all the royal 
citizens of Armenia. When all had assembled in the presence 
of the conqueror to receive sentence according to the usage of 
that age, Cyrus demanded of the king why he had violated 



314 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

his obligation by which he was bound to pay taxes to the Medes. 
'For no other reason/ replied the Armenian king, 'than because 
I thought it glorious to shake off a foreign yoke, to live as an 
independent prince and to leave my children in the same con- 
dition.' 'It is indeed glorious, 5 answered Cyrus, 'to fight for 
one's liberty, but is it honorable to violate the faith of treaties? 
Would you not put to death a subject that should attempt to 
throw off your government?' 'Though I pass sentence upon 
myself,' replied the king of Armenia, 'I must declare the truth 
I would certainly put him to death.' 

"After these frank and patriotic acknowledgments the king's 
eldest son, in behalf of his father, made a pathetic intercession, 
which was listened to with wrapt attention by Cyrus. Then 
addressing the king of Armenia, Cyrus demanded, 'If I should 
yield to the entreaties of your son with what number of men 
and with what sum of money will you assist me against the 
state of Babylonia?' 

" 'My troops and treasures,' replied the captured king, 'are 
no longer mine; they are wholly yours and shall be ever at 
your service.' 'Then,' continued Cyrus, 'what would you 
give for the ransome of your life?' 'All that I have in the 
world,' replied the king. 'And for the redemption of your 
children?' 'The same thing.' 'Then from this moment you 
are indebted to double of all your possessions.' He then asked 
the king's son, by name TIGRANES, at what price would he 
redeem his young and beautiful princess? 'At the price,' re- 
plied the prince, 'of a thousand lives if I had them.' Having 
thus secured the friendship and alliance of the princes of these 
people, Cyrus kindly and royally entertained the captives and 
dismissed them with affection. On their way to their homes 
nothing was heard but kind words of gratitude at their good 
fortune and of admiration of the noble bearing of Cyrus. But 
the young and beautiful wife of Tigranes, expressing no opin- 
ion of their benefactor, was asked by her husband what she 
thought of him. 'I do not know,' replied the princess. 'What 
then so occupied your attention as to prevent your notice of 
Cyrus?' 'I thought of nothing but the devotion of that dear 
man who was ready to redeem my liberty with a thousand 
lives.' This was about 534 B. C, and the author only reviews 



AN AUTHOR 3 15 

this event to show that the nature of the Negro is to give his 
life for those whom he must protect. 

"Around the temples of Babylon, of Thebes, of Memphis 
and of Alexandria less than 2500 years ago our ancestors, a 
nation of mighty men flourished, but all their greatness, all of 
their struggles and triumphs in peace and in war have passed 
into suppressed history. 

"O glorious land! We love thy name; 
Thy heroes y too, we cherish. 
No worthier name can dwell in fame; 
With time it shall not -perish. 

"The Roman eagle, waiting with ready talons till such a 
time as he might fall upon all the nations and grind them into 
powder, now began to fall upon nation after nation, race after 
race, until the whole civilized world was subjected by their 
conquering arms. The whole land muttered and murmured 
beneath the yoke of the Romans. The Roman Empire under 
AUGUSTUS CAESAR comprehended nearly the whole of 
the civilized world, embracing an area of about 3,000 miles 
long and 2,000 broad, B. C. 30 years. The whole population 
was 120,000,000, of which at least one-half was slaves, and 
of the remainder 40,000,000 were freedmen and only 20,000,- 
000 were free citizens. The European blood was then master 
of the whole world. Such was the state of affairs when JESUS 
CHRIST was born in Judea. Hence the reader finds that the 
royal blood of the Africans, so far as concerned the American 
Negro, died in the war before the armies of Rome. Their 
ignorant subjects were driven far into the interior of Africa, 
while others were retained as servants (slaves). Some writers 
have endeavored to account for the color of the Africans, 
but all have failed to give axioms. 

"The Indians say, 'Negro heap fool,' having references to 
the Negro submitting to slavery. The author says those 
writers are 'heap fool, 5 having reference to those who offer 
to account for the color of an African. AS TO EQUAL 
ORIGIN— the word of God to His servant Paul has settled 
forever the question of equal origin of the human races, and 



316 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

it will stand good against all scientific research : 'God has made 
of one blood all the nations of men to dwell on the face of 
the earth.' 

"The African, or Negro, has no right or cause to attempt 
to account for his color. If so the Indian must account for 
being red, the Chinaman must account for being yellow, the 
Caucasian must account for being white, and the Malay must 
account for being all colors. Let all such subjects as account- 
ing for color rest. Let them be as they are — and acknowledge 
that NATURE is past man's finding out and therefore is 
supreme." 

I would love to tell you of the many good things in 
the manuscript on the History of the Texas Negroes 
written by McDonald, but I must not give you the full 
account at this time. He speaks of the political acts of 
the colored man in Texas, his emancipation, his religious 
acts, his business acts, his educational acts and sums up 
the whole by most timely advice to his people. 

You must read the following, which gives in part 
his views on the educational acts of the colored man, 
especially in the state of Texas. And what is true in 
Texas is largely true over the United States. 

"HIS EDUCATIONAL ACTS. 

"Education is the most popular sentiment of modern times. 
It shall be the object of the author to here impress upon the 
mind of the reader the Utility of an Education, as well as to 
give a correct history of his race's acts from an educational 
standpoint in Texas. The cry has gone forth that men shall 
sit no longer in ignorance and the school house has become an 
institution in this land. With the education of nature the 
generations that have just preceded ours were self-reliant, 
sterling men. Following in their footsteps and by the help of 
the district school, academy and college we have crowded the 
standard of learning higher still, and stronger and stronger 
men are being brought each year into the vocations of life. 



AN AUTHOR 317 

The world has learned that there is no place among the active 
labors of men where a good education will not count as capital 
and power. 

"If a man would enter a profession he needs an education. 
If he would engage in mercantile pursuits he can do best after 
a long school training. If he would be a farmer he will be a 
better farmer with cultivated brains. If a man would be a 
tradesman he will surely rise higher in his craft with the power 
to read and think and learn the history of his craft and its bear- 
ing upon society and life. If a man is to be even a small man 
in a small place, he still needs an education, for what it can do 
for him and his happiness in the world. We are all men and 
our standard of manhood is to be judged at last by some 
common standard, and not by the false canons of judgment 
which society has set up. The fact is, there is no place on 
earth where polished speech, keen insight, far-seeing judgment 
and good sense will not aid a man in his work; and, on the 
other hand, there is no place where the lack of these will 
not neutralize or destroy the best motives and the best en- 
deavor. But calm judgment, intelligent forethought and ele- 
gant speech are either directly developed by the process of 
education or greatly strengthened thereby. And the time is 
past for raising a plea for education. Its necessity as a prepara- 
tion for every useful work is now acknowledged by all. The 
places of trust and grave responsibility are being filled by edu- 
cated men. In these days of heartless competition when every 
nerve is strained and every faculty brought into full play, there 
is no hope for the man whose mind is left in ignorance and 
darkness. He must step down and out when so many with 
cultured minds are crowding all the avenues of success. Even 
the self-made men of this and former generations have 
worked their way up by first over-riding the disadvantages 
arising from the lack of school training. 

"The Negro race is always pointing out what it loves to call 
its self-made men and comparing their brilliant feats with 
those of the school men. They say, 'Here is our Cuney; there 
is our Grant; yonder our Griggs, Massy and Toliver.' Both 
suffer by this comparison, for it is a comparison with no essen- 
tial difference. The one has saved the moments of a toilsome 



318 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

life and devoted them to study by the light of a pine knot or 
a tallow candle in a log cabin and has at length emerged there- 
from a high-minded educated man. The other has walked 
the broad way to learned eminence in school and college. Both 
are self-made men in the sense that they enjoy the power which 
persistent intellectual work has bestowed. Both are educated 
in all that goes to make up true education. They have met 
and mastered intellectual difficulty. It makes little or no dif- 
ference how or when the mind receives that training which 
makes it strong and active. Strength and activity are what 
the mind needs and the process by which it arrives in possession 
of these is education, whether it be reading Plato or the Pen- 
tateuch, whether it be studying mathematics or magnetics, 
whether it be studying science from a book or in the laborato- 
ries of nature. And there is not a self-made man among the 
Negro race who has risen to national notoriety that does not 
possess the equivalent of a college education. Is Abram Grant 
a scholar or an ignoramus? Was N. W. Cuney an ignorant 
man? Is Griggs any the less a self-made man than Massy? 
That mental effort and training which knits the fibers of the 
brain together for earnest and aggressive work — that is educa- 
tion and that is what every man must have to succeed largely 
in any of the vocations of today. 

"Now there are certain intellectual qualities which a man 
must possess to rise high among his fellows. One of these is 
a calm, clear judgment, unruffled in emergency, undisturbed 
in adversity, triumphant always. It is this that holds a man 
level. It is this, like the hawser when rudder and sail are lost, 
holds the ship to the wave and the prow to the storm. 

"It was more this than all else that enabled Griggs to guide 
the helm of the Baptist denomination so well on that tem- 
pestuous sea of strife and schism. It was this that sustained 
Bishop Grant in all his religious battles. It was this that made 
N. W. Cuney one of the most astute politicians of his day. It 
is this that carries many a man through the troubled waters of 
business panic into the smooth sailing sea beyond. The mind 
that can rise in unruffled might out of the bellowing thunders 
of disaster and the pelting storms of defeat, to assert its better 
judgment and see the road to escape and glory deserves to be 



AN AUTHOR 3 19 

called educated and such a mind will succeed in spite of the 
World's scorn and opposition. 

"Education always increases a man's capacity to labor. It 
gives him a stronger hold upon his faculties and enables him 
to put forth his efforts to a better purpose. It broadens the 
horizon of knowledge and brings the accumulated experience 
of mankind to bear upon a man's life work. It fortifies judg- 
ment and gives tone to all the graces of character. It renders 
all of one's power of intellect available and makes him by so 
much a larger and a stronger man. The man who is educated 
has the advantage always. He can work with less loss of power 
and accomplish results far easier than his ignorant neighbor. 
Good sense, integrity, self-control, industry, frugality — these 
are no doubt the main forces in a successful career; but all 
of them are greatly aided by a sound and practical education 
and all of them are greatly hindered by the lack of it. 

"A person can not live in ignorance without contracting a 
dull and sordid habit of mind. He will soon crave any pleas- 
ure, however brutal, to escape from his stupidity and 
emptiness. This the author believes to be the cause of ruin 
to countless young Negro boys and girls. In their homes there 
are no books and no congenial associations. Their minds are 
active and they can not mope in idleness. So out of restlessness, 
off they go to the street, the saloon, the crap den, the dance 
hall, and a thousand associations which drag them down. When 
once the brain is empty and the natural food that it craves is 
not at hand, the way is broad to bestial pleasure. Thousands 
of young men plunge into dissipation who might be saved 
by any rational amusement that would occupy the mind of 
those restless evening hours after work. Not trained to read, 
with no intellectual tastes, with brain emptiness and brain 
hunger they rush off to the dance hall, the streets, the dens of 
vice — anywhere, to fill up those dreary hours. It might be 
said in truth that the ruin of seven-eights of the young Negroes 
who go down in our great cities and towns, and even in the 
rural district, could be averted by establishing in early life 
a taste for intellectual pursuits. Let once the love of knowl- 
edge and good books get possession of a young man or woman 
and the love of beer or whisky or the 'lewd den' will rarely 



320 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

reach them. Let once the pleasures of a bright fire, a shining 
lamp and an intellectual companionship with great authors cap- 
tivate a young man or a young woman and he or she will almost 
never leave them for the cold street, the sickening odors of 
the saloon and the unhallowed sights of the dens of vice. Here 
is a broad field for such Christian men as D. Abner, Jr., A. B., 
Ph. D., Rev. E. W. D. Isaac, Rev. L. L. Campbell, Rev. 
Gainer of Washington, D. C, Rev. J. E. Edwards of Cali- 
fornia, C. F. Moore, D. D., Arkansas, Rev. I. B. Scott, D. D., 
bishop M. E. Church, Liberia, Africa, I. M. Terrell, Pro- 
fessor F. W. Grass, president Houston Academy, Professor 
J. R. E. Lee, Professor H. T. Keling and Rev. F. G. Davis 
to provide rational amusement for the young Negro at that 
terrible crisis in life when only something to satisfy the restless 
activities of the brain can avail to keep them from the excite- 
ment and enticement of sin. 

"The word education is derived from the Latin verb which 
means to bring up a child. This verb is in turn derived from 
another which means to lead forth, or less literally, to develop. 
The etymology of the word happily illustrates the true im- 
port of the process of education. It is indeed a leading forth 
of the powers and faculties with which a man is endowed. 

"The present age is intensely progressive and practical. Men 
enter upon the duties of life with a hop, skip and jump. They 
can brook no delay. They rush from one business enterprise 
to another with varying degrees of success. 

"The race of life is quickly run; its prizes most hotly sought 
and its rewards most speedily won. A Negro man succeeds or 
fails in a moment and in the next is forgotten in the hurry 
and bustle of new work and new excitements. The age de- 
mands an education to keep pace with this breathless haste. 
Our young Negro men and women are being educated for 
busy and intensely active careers and they wish their training 
to be adequate to the needs of the hour and of the most prac- 
tical kind. However, after all and above all, there is great 
danger of placing too high a value upon education. In this 
country we have been taught extravagant notions in regard to 
its beneficial influences upon life and life work. Those who 



AN AUTHOR 321 

discuss educational problems talk in the most exalted terms 
of the improvement of the individual and the perfecting of 
society under the stimulus of mind training. They seem to 
believe that the universal diffusion of knowledge is a universal 
diffusion of power to do good. But our Dogans, Blackshaws, 
Andersons, Kirks, Grasses, Massys, Cuneys, Grants, Abners, 
Starks, Harlees, Jacksons, Gibsons, Suttons, Balls, Griggs 
and Smothers have supposed with a large degree of truth that 
popular education is a guarantee of the perpetuity of Negro 
institutions and the Negro race. By some education has been 
regarded as a sure remedy for all of our ills, national, politi- 
cal, social, actual or possible, for all defects in individual life 
or national policy. 'More education' has been the remedy 
these doctors would apply. All classes of our people have 
shared these fine enthusiasms until we are in danger of adding 
one more goddess to the mythology of Greece and Rome and 
enshrining Knowledge as 'sister and wife of Jove.' 

"We have not realized as we ought that education is a power 
for evil as well as a power to do good. Education may make 
a man only a greater rascal, thief, sneak or an assassin. There 
is something back of education that is to determine whether this 
power shall be used for good or evil. The moral element of 
the African people may save the race and our national govern- 
ment of much vexation, but there is no power in intellectual 
education in and of itself to do this. Let us be educated, but 
let us be done with the folly that education is a remedy for 
every ill. 

"It will do much, but it can not save the race unless the 
'sober second thought' shall prevail in religion, politics and 
social life. 

"Among the great intellectual educators of Negroes in 
Texas can be found such men as Professors S. H. Smothers, 
J. W. Ray, D. Abner, Jr., A. B. Ph. D., F. W. Grass, A. B., 
H. T. Kealing, A. M., W. E. Blacksher, A. B., I. M. Terrell, 
A. B., H. H. Thompson, A. M." 



CHAPTER XXI 

Some Testimonials. What a Few of His Many 

Friends Say. 

Several times have I thought that I would close this 
volume without giving to the world some of the opinions 
held by others concerning W. M. McDonald, the son of 
the Lone Star State, whose influence has now reached 
the four quarters of the globe. I have hesitated for 
several months over the idea. To give a paragraph from 
each of his many friends who have requested me to do 
so would indeed make a book many times the size of this 
volume. I am much grieved because the lack of space 
compels me to give only a few of the testimonials from 
the many I have. I trust that the writers of the many 
which I am forced to omit will in no wise censure me 
for the omission. 

Both white and colored have sent words of praise of 
my subject. Letters of commendation have come from 
all sections of the country. It has been a source of 
pleasure for me to read evidences of esteem of my friend 
McDonald, from New England, Middle Atlantic States, 
Southern States, Central States and the Western States. 
A few letters have come from countries under other flags 
than the grand old Stars and Stripes. I have been told 
by many that the biography of McDonald should be 
written, for without a knowledge of this man, the true 
history of Texas and America would not be fully under- 
stood. 

323 



324 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

Prof. William Coleman, principal of the high school 
at El Paso, also Grand Lecturer, F. & A. M. of Texas, 
speaks as follows: 

"The Honorable William Madison McDonald, originally 
of Kaufman, but now of Fort Worth, Texas, in my opinion 
has indescribably emblazoned his name on the scroll of fame 
alongside the historic characters of America's greatest men. 

"Born in the lap of poverty, nurtured by the teaching and 
the calling of nature, trained in the school of hardships, he 
early learned to be independent and self-supporting. Profit- 
ing by these guardians of his future in the physical and mental 
world, it became easy for him to follow the yearning of his own 
ambitious nature. 

"His fearless successful leadership gives evidences of an 
inherited instinctive vision that ever still leads onward regard- 
less of barriers. Death only can hold in check his restless 
mental and spiritual energies. McDonald in his opposition to 
what he considers contrary to true principles of truth, justice 
and righteousness, brooks no enemies, and is ceaseless in his 
contention for the perpetuation of these principles as the cor- 
roding influences of time continue their tearing down processes 
upon the decaying elements of time. And yet, he is gentle and 
lovable in his quieter moments, in his silent musings, he stores 
away a fund of ideas and ideals which we gather from him in 
later pleasing conversation. I have lived on terms of the clos- 
est friendship with him, and I have discovered that he has a 
tenderness, and a sympathy that can easily be coined into ele- 
ments beneficial to those who are deserving. 

"McDonald is an able speaker. His persuasive and generat- 
ing powers are supreme. On public occasions he speaks as one of 
authority, and with an eloquence that moves the passion of his 
auditors to a willingness for immediate action. He possesses 
the mirth and pleasantness of a Cicero, the serenity, the con- 
stant care and thoughtf ulness of a Demosthenes. He belongs 
to that class that some men love, and some men hate, but 
cannot do without. All who know him and have been fortunate 
enough, to become intimately acquainted with him will say 



SOME TESTIMONIALS 325 

with me that they never leave him after serious conversation 
but that they are silently stirred to do bigger things in life, 
so telling are his magnetic powers. 

"Borrowing this sentiment from another, we boldly and 
incontrovertibly assert that the Honorable Wm. M. McDonald 
is not one of those great men who borrow their lights from 
others, nor one of those heroic beings who never led Texas 
through great crises. He does not belong to that class who 
depend upon the strength they gather from mere books or 
other men. He possesses an intellectual power that electrifies 
through the generation of his own fire. He directs his course 
in life for the benefit of others, by the towering headlines and 
solitary lights that gleam from afar. He accumulated knowl- 
edge and principles which he daily applies to practical affairs. 
He is not satisfied to be considered the possessor of extensive 
details of studies, but rejoices over the use of his intellectual 
gleanings on suitable occasions and the successful application of 
general principles learned. He is prompt and exact in his deal- 
ings. He has the desirable habit of leaving no work of one day 
to be done tomorrow. All business of whatever nature demand- 
ing of him immediate consideration and disposal is settled 
without delay. He is not vainglorious, disloyal to friend, 
neglectful of duty, but he is simple and plain in his habits 
and external appearance. McDonald is a doer and not an 
idle extravagant dreamer. He casts from his thinking and 
loses no time in attempting the impossible. He has a clear- 
ness and precision of thought that enables him to easily dis- 
pose of meaningless, superfluous, unprofitable schemes and 
propositions. There is only one McDonald." 

Doctor A. N. Prince, one of the leading physicians of 
Texas, Past Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias 
of the State, to whom credit is given for the establish- 
ment of the medical department of the order and under 
whose administration the magnificent K. of P. Temple 
at Dallas was erected, speaks of McDonald in the fol- 
lowing language : 



326 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

HONORABLE WM. McDONALD 

"Honorable Wm. McDonald as. teacher, politician, fraternal 
man and financier, is among the greatest men of our race. 

"As a pioneer teacher he gained an insight into the human 
mind, that no doubt led to his wonderful achievements in life 
as a leader of men. As a politician, he ranks among the fore- 
most of his time. 

"He is recognized as a national character 5 and his influence 
has been felt throughout the land. His counsel is sought by 
members of both races. 

"As a fraternad man, no one in the State is better known. 
His interest and influence in Masonry has placed it in the 
front rank of fraternal institutions in Texas. It was he, asso- 
ciated with Past Grand Master Bishop John W. McKinney, 
who conceived the idea and erected the beautiful Masonic 
Temple in Fort Worth; the first of its character among our 
people in the State. 

"As a financier, his success has been phenomenal. In his 
dealings he has proven himself a square man. 

"His life should be an inspiration to future generations." 

"A. N. PRINCE, M. D." 

Rev. W. L. Dickson, one of the leading preachers of 
the race, a man known from one end of the country to 
the other; whose heart is as large as the great common- 
wealth of Texas, who is the founder, president, man- 
ager and general superintendent of the Dickson Colored 
Orphanage, where infants are taken care of and given 
industrial, literary and religious training, where also a 
hospital for children and a home for aged are provided; 
gives his estimate of William Madison McDonald in the 
words that follow: 

"To my mind the Honorable W. M. McDonald, the 
president of the Fraternal Bank & Trust Company of Fort 
Worth, ;s one of the greatest living Negroes of the age. He 



SOME TESTIMONIALS 327 

has no equal as a business man, and as a Politician. He is one 
of the most brainy men of the times, white or black." 

Mr. W. H. Mitchell, G. H. P., Most Excellent 
Prince Hall Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons, 
one of the pioneers of Texas, wrote in part as follows: 

"Mr. W. O. Bundy, 

"Fort Worth, Texas. 
"Dear Sir: 

"I wish to say that I am heartily in accord with your efforts, 
to do honor to one who so justly deserves it. I esteem it a 
great honor to be associated with such a noble character as the 
Hon. Wm. M. McDonald." 

Mr. B. F. White, cashier Farmers & Citizens Savings 
Bank, Palestine, Texas, among other things wrote the 
following to the author: 

"Prof. W. O. Bundy, 
"Fort Worth, Texas. 

"My Dear Sir: 

"Yours came to me this morning and to say the least, it was 
quite a surprise to me, yet pleasant. It's a delight to me to note 
that you are preparing a biography of Mr. McDonald, which 
is as it should be. 

"I regard him as being one of our foremost men. I can 
say truly that he is a high-class Christian gentleman, a pro- 
found thinker and above all a friend to man. 

"I regard it as a special privilege to be even thought of as 
being one of his friends to this extent. I have for a number 
of years held for him a very high regard and among my 
most esteemed and valued friends." 

Mr. R. B. Goosby, one of the pioneers of Texas, per- 
haps the oldest colored politician now Jiving in the 
State, a man who for many years has been a true and 
tried friend of Mr. McDonald, has so many good things 



328 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

to say of "Goose Neck Bill" that his words would make 
a very fine chapter. I must give you at least one of his 
paragraphs which follows: 

"If Texas ever produced a citizen whose biography should 
be written that man is William McDonald. For many years 
he has been our leading politician 5 unlike many, he has been 
honest in his dealings with men and principles. He has 
fought the battles of the race. I know him to be fearless, 
brave and courageous for I have fought by his side. His noble 
deeds should be told to the coming generations. These words 
come from my heart. I am his old friend, R. B. Goosby. 

McDonald made a deep impression upon the national 
leaders of his party, the Republican party. They recog- 
nized him as a peer. Such men as Senators Mathew 
Stanley Quay, Boise Penrose, Crane of Massachusetts, 
William B. McKinley of Illinois, former Vice-President 
Fairbanks, and Governor C. A. Culbertson of Texas, 
Former Speaker Tom B. Reed, Presidents William Mc- 
Kinley and Roosevelt have all sent the Honorable W. 
M. McDonald letters expressing their supreme confi- 
dence in him as the true and tried leader of his party in 
the Southwest. For the past quarter of a century Mc- 
Donald has been held in the highest esteem by the leaders 
of the country. 

Of one thing I am certain, if I am to judge from the 
hundreds of letters sent McDonald from all sections of 
the country by both white and colored, that he has an 
abiding place in the memory of his fellow citizens. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Conclusion. 

In giving this biography to the world, I have no 
apology to make. In my opinion the early struggles of 
William M. McDonald, his accomplishments, his con- 
tribution to humanity should be known by people of this 
age and those to follow. I have endeavored to give 
the true facts that you as well as I might draw your own 
conclusions. 

As far as this volume can reach that point I have now 
brought my readers to the end of my story. What may 
remain of life to my friend, McDonald, through what 
experiences he may pass, what heights he may attain, 
into what depths he may fall, what good or ill may come 
to him, or proceed from him in this uncertain world, 
where all is change, uncertainty, and largely at the 
mercy of powers over which the individual man has no 
absolute control; if thought worthy and useful, will 
probably be told by others when he has passed from the 
busy stage of life. I do not look for any great changes 
in his fortunes or achievements in the future. The most 
of the space of his life is behind him, and the sun of his 
day is nearing the horizon. 

Notwithstanding your conclusions after reading this 
book, McDonald's day has been a pleasant one. His joys 
have far exceeded his sorrows and his friends have 
brought him far more than his enemies have taken from 
him. I have tried to tell the story of this man's life 

329 



330 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

not to exhibit any accomplishments of my own to awaken 
and attract attention to myself personally, but as a part 
of the history of a profoundly interesting period in 
American life and progress. I desire the contents of this 
book to be a small contribution to the sum of knowledge 
of this special period, to be handed down to after-coming 
generations which may want to know what things were 
allowed and what prohibited. 

I am aware that there are many of my race whose 
lives should be told to the boys and girls of the coming 
and the present generation, but in scanning the broad 
field before me, I observed the subject of this sketch 
standing Alpine-like far above his associates. I observed 
that he obtained knowledge under difficulties, that he 
caused poverty to give place to competency, that he 
demonstrated that it is possible for a person born in 
obscurity to rise to a place of distinction and honor, that 
he has demonstrated that a way is open to welfare and 
happiness to all who will resolutely and wisely pursue 
that way; that no power outside of himself can prevent 
a man from sustaining an honorable character and a 
useful relation to this day and generation j that neither 
institutions nor friends can make a man to stand unless 
he has the strength in his own legs. What this noble 
Texan has accomplished, others can accomplish. 

The history of the world, after all, is only the record 
of men and women and the principles for which they 
stood. Genius is limited by no race or geographical 
lines. Great men have been found in all races and in 
all parts of the world. Color of the skin has nothing at 
all to do with the possibilities of a human being. 

McDonald in many respects for the past forty years 



CONCLUSION 331 

has played a very important part in the history of his 
country and especially Texas. He has contributed 
freely to the eleemosynary institutions. Many of them 
that have received gifts from him fully appreciate his 
efforts. 

The churches also have not been forgotten. In fact, 
every society and club and organization has come to 
him for help and he has contributed to them all. No 
man in Texas has been a greater benefactor than Mr. 
McDonald. Not only has he given freely his money, 
but as a lodge man, for thirty-nine years McDonald has 
been connected with the Masons and Odd Fellows of 
Texas. He has been the grand secretary of the Masons 
of the Lone Star State for thirty years. Under his ad- 
ministration of that office the lodge has prospered won- 
derfully and today is on a strong financial basis. He is 
the author of the Masonic ritual and has done more than 
any living man in Texas for the grand old order. He 
has given words of cheer and good will. Some of his 
best speeches have been made to those organizations and 
societies. 

Indeed, America has produced no greater man than 
William Madison McDonald. Born of slave parents, 
with Indian and Negro blood flowing through their 
veins, this infant boy of sixty-six has been a success in 
every undertaking. As a servant he was so dutiful that 
in a short while he won the esteem and admiration of 
those for whom he worked. As a public school teacher 
it was not long before he was considered the most ac- 
complished pedagogue in his county. As a politician 
Texas has never produced his superior and a very few his 
equal. A natural born leader, a great organizer, an 



332 BIOGRAPHY OF W. M. McDONALD 

orator with a message that caused its hearers to think, his 
eloquence equal to the most charming upon the Amer- 
ican platform, his logic clear and easily understood, his 
manners simple yet attractive, his case so clearly stated 
that none dared to combat — this is the man I have tried 
to describe. Standing six feet in height, with the ap- 
pearance of an Indian chief, a well rounded head with 
sparkling and penetrating eyes, and ears ever on the 
alert, with a body nimble in its every move, shoulders 
broad and square, and legs that could not be improved 
upon, this man McDonald reached the highest point 
in the affairs of his people. In the makeup of this man 
nature did its part well. He has the gift of that fervid, 
impromptu oratory which is best suited for short 
addresses. He delivers them in a marvellous voice 
which possesses the quality that sets to throbbing the 
pulses of the listeners. He is endowed with genuine 
dramatic genius. 

Human glory is as changeable as the winds; but 
McDonald's place in history is assured. All the sym- 
bols of this world's administration are his. He will be 
embalmed in song, recorded in history, eulogized pane- 
gyric, cast in bronze, sculptured in marble, painted on 
canvas, enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen, and 
will ever live in the memory of mankind. The deeds 
and words of this man are worth much to history and 
the oncoming generations should know them. His 
mission has been one to humanity as broad as the world, 
enduring for all time. He has been honored by his con- 
temporaries and when the world truly knows him, his 
noble deeds and words will be imitated and quoted to 
the last syllable of recorded time. He is great in life 



CONCLUSION 333 

and will go down in history as one of the ablest orators 
and statesmen America ever produced. Oncoming gen- 
erations, when his true worth is known, will pause to 
do him honor. 

Great men appear in groups and go from the vision 
of the world in groups. We speak of Moses and the 
patriarchs, of Christ and His disciples, of Washington 
and his generals, of Lincoln and his cabinet, of Foch and 
the Allied generals; we honor the inventor of printing; 
we sing the praises of Shakespeare; we admire the brav- 
ery of Hannibal and the courage of Toussaint L'Ouver- 
ture, We revere the sage of Anacosta, Fred Douglass; we 
esteem the great advocator of industrial training, B. T, 
Washington, but the rosary of renown will be placed 
upon the head of the great Negro leader of the South, 
William McDonald. 

Some men are great because of the little men with 
whom they come in contact; but a truly great man is 
one who is great among great men. McDonald has 
come in contact with great men of his state and the 
greatest of the nation. He has met and successfully 
coped with the ablest politicians of his day and time. 
He has been the recognized political leader of the South- 
west by classes; even the greatest bankers of Texas look 
upon him as one of the ablest financiers of the Lone 
Star State. His integrity has never been questioned. 
His honesty is above suspicion. His judgment is sought 
by all classes. His love of justice and fair play is 
recognized by all. He stands today, as the leading 
Negro, in many respects, upon the Western Hemisphere. 

THE END.